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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 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. The formation of Indian National Congress as a pan-Indian organization was the culmination of process of political awakening that was witnessed in India in the nineteenth century. Elucidate. (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 trace the political awakening in India, starting from local/regional organization to the pan Indian organization.

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:

Write about the circumstances leading to the formation of Congress in 1885 in brief.

Body:

In brief mention about various theories regarding the formation of Congress – Safety Valve Theory and The Nationalist Theory.

Write about the evolving political consciousness among Indians. Mention the factors responsible for it. Also, write about the various local organizations that sprang up across India as result of political awakening. Mention their demands.

Conclusion:

Culminate as to how these resulted in a Pan Indian organization in the form of Indian National Congress.

Introduction:

The setting up of Indian National Congress in 1885 by national leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozshah Mehta, D.E. Wacha, W.C. Bonnerjea, and S.N. Banerjea heralded a new step in Indian National Movement. The early years (1885- 1905) saw the evolution of Indian National Congress. The moderates dominated the Congress policies during this period and were staunch believers in ‘liberalism’ and ‘moderate’ politics.

Body:

To achieve the ends, they worked on a two-pronged methodology one, create a strong public opinion to arouse consciousness and national spirit and then educate and unite people on common political questions; and two, persuade the British Government and British public opinion to introduce reforms in India on the lines laid out by the nationalists.

The major demands of the Moderates were:

  • Expansion and reform of legislative councils.
  • Greater opportunities for Indians in higher posts by holding the ICS examination simultaneously in England and in India.
  • Separation of the judiciary from the executive.
  • More powers for the local bodies.
  • Reduction of land revenue and protection of peasants from unjust landlords.
  • Abolition of salt tax and sugar duty Freedom of speech and expression and freedom to form associations
  • The repeal of the Arms Act
  • Reduction of spending on army.
  • The introduction of Permanent Settlement to other parts of India

The Congress programme during the first phase was very modest due to the following:

  • Moderates had total faith in the British sense of justice and fair-play and looked to England for inspiration and guidance.
  • Moderates used petitions, resolutions, meetings, leaflets and pamphlets, memorandum and delegations to present their demands.
  • Confined their political activities to the educated classes only.
  • Drew most of their ideas from western political thinking which further alienated them from the people.
  • Their main aim was to attain political rights and self-government stage by stage.
  • The leaders were cautious in their demands and did not want to annoy the government and incur the risk of suppression of their activities.
  • They demanded Indian control over the public purse and raised the slogan that had earlier been raised by the Americans during their War of Independence, ‘No taxation without representation’.
  • This phase of the national movement excluded the masses and only the educated elites participated in it.
  • They did not demand complete independence from foreign rule.
  • They did not understand the power of a mass movement of people unlike Gandhi who used this power.
  • The Moderates found themselves in a tight corner with the emergence of extremist leadership within the congress.
  • The British authorities also doubted their bonafides.
  • They failed to realise that there existed conflicts of interest of the rulers and the ruled.
  • They failed to keep pace with the yearnings and aspirations of the people.

However, there were successes of Moderates too:

  • The British Government was forced to pass the Indian Councils Act of 1892, but the provisions of this Act failed to satisfy the Congress leaders.
  • This Act increased the size of the legislative councils and also increased the proportion of non-officials in them.
  • They were able to sow the seeds of nationalism in the people and popularised ideals like democracy, liberty and equality.
  • Exposure of Economic drain policies of British was one of the major successes.
  • They exposed the basically exploitative character of colonial rule, thus undermining its moral foundations.
  • They used press as an effective medium to put across their views, petitions and to reach the populace.
  • With changing times, the Moderates also began to alter their position. By 1905 Gokhale had started speaking of self-rule as the goal and in 1906 it was Dadabhai Naoroji who mentioned the word Swaraj as the goal of the Congress.
  • Leaders like Gopal Krishna Gokhale and M G Ranade were social reformers too and opposed child marriage and imposed widowhood.

Conclusion:

The Moderate leaders believed that political connections with Britain were in India’s interest at that stage of history and that the time was not ripe for a direct challenge to the British rule. In the opinion of M.N. Roy, “It was the golden period of modern Indian history.” Though the immediate gains of the Moderates were insignificant, their contribution towards political and national awakening was of permanent value to India.

 

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

2. Discuss about the nature of moderate phase of Indian National Congress. Do you think their great faith in the British sense of justice and fair play was their major drawback? (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 in detail the features of moderate phase pf INC and their style of functioning and to analyze the impact of their trust in the efficacy of British rule.

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 writing about the moderate phase of INC, its nature and its leaders.

Body:

Explain in the detail nature of the moderate phase of INC. Their Aims and Objectives, Constitutional nature, Belief in the British, Inspiration, mode of operation, core composition, and important outcomes.

Mention about the belief of moderates in sense of justice of the British rule. They knew the exploitative nature of British rule but wanted its reforms and not expulsion.

Mention at its nascent stage they could not all out ask for expulsion for the fear of crackdown on the entire organization. They had to tread carefully between nationalistic interests and protecting the nascent congress.

Conclusion:

Pass a balanced judgement and highlight the major contributions of moderates.

Introduction:

In the later 1870s and early 1880s, a solid ground had been prepared for the establishment of an all-India organization. The final shape to this idea was given by a retired English civil servant, A.O. Hume, who mobilized leading intellectuals of the time and, with their cooperation, organized the first session of the Indian National Congress in Bombay in December 1885.

Body:

Reasons behind the creation of Indian National Congress (INC)

  • Safety Valve Theory:There is a theory that Hume formed the Congress with the idea that it would prove to be a ‘safety valve’ for releasing the growing discontent of the Indians. To this end, he convinced Lord Dufferin not to obstruct the formation of the Congress.
  • The extremist leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai believed in the ‘safety valve’ theory. Even the Marxist historian’s ‘conspiracy theory’ was an offspring of the ‘safety valve’ notion.
  • Organization for expression of Indian Demands:Modern Indian historians dispute the idea of ‘safety valve’. In their opinion the Indian National Congress represented the urge of the politically conscious Indians to set up a national body to express the political and economic demands of the Indians. Historian Bipan Chandra observes early Congress leaders used Hume as a catalyst to bring together.

Major objectives of INC

  • A Pan India Organization:To found a democratic, nationalist movement through a pan India organization.
  • Politicize and politically educate people:Congress aimed to increase awareness about the colonial exploitative policies the political rights of Indians. To this end congress focused on demanding increasing representation in councils, Indianization of civil services etc.
  • Anti-colonialism:Develop and propagate an anti-colonial nationalist ideology; Promote friendly relations among nationalist political workers from different parts of the country.
  • Forward looking political and economic programme:Formulate and present popular demands before the government with a view to unifying the people over a common economic and political programme.
  • Promote Nationalism:Develop and consolidate a feeling of national unity among people irrespective of religion, caste or province

Successes of the moderates

  • Indian Councils Act of 1892 was the first achievement of the INC.
  • This Act increased the size of the legislative councils and also increased the proportion of non-officials in them.
  • They were able to sow the seeds of nationalism in the people.
  • They popularised ideals like democracy, liberty and equality.
  • They exposed many draining economic policies of the British.
  • Leaders like Gopal Krishna Gokhale and M G Ranade were social reformers too and opposed child marriage and imposed widowhood.

Limitations of the moderates

  • This phase of the national movement excluded the masses and only the educated elites participated in it.
  • They did not demand complete independence from foreign rule.
  • They did not understand the power of a mass movement of people, unlike Gandhi who used this power.
  • Drew most of their ideas from western political thinking which further alienated them from the people.

Conclusion

Thus the objectives of INC were not mere critique of British policies but forward looking programme for improving conditions of Indians. Even though Moderates were not successful in their endeavour they laid the foundation of mass based independence struggle with INC formation.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

3. Governor should be qualified, non-partisan and above politics. Politicization of the post of Governor is unhealthy for Centre-State relations. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The role of Governor is again in a controversy. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan’s refusal to convene a special session of the Kerala Assembly on December 23, as initially requested by the government has brought everyone’s attention to increasing politicization of the post of Governor.

Key Demand of the question:

To throw on the role of Governor in Indian federalism and how partisan actions of the Governor cause strain in center state relationships.

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:

Begin by mentioning how under article 155, Governor is appointed by the president under his warrant and seal. With governor being envisaged as senior statesman to help in smooth functioning of federal governments.

Body:

Mention about increasing politicization of the post of Governor and him/her acting as the ‘agent of center’. Mention the recent examples of Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Mention the reasons for the above such as interpretation of situational discretion and constitutional discretion of the Governor, Lack of Security of tenure, Horse trading and coalition politics, issues of selecting the chief minister, determining the timing for proving legislative majority, demanding information about day-to-day administration, taking apparently long time in giving assent to bills or reserving bills for the President, commenting adversely on specific policies of the state government and exercising powers of the governor as the chancellor of state universities.

Write about the impact it has on Center-State relations. centre-state relations have created widespread public sensitivity and opinion regarding various wrong doings of the centre through the office of the governor which have proved to be damaging for the essential federal structure in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to reduce politicization of the role of the governor as suggested by various committees.

Introduction:

Article 154 of the Constitution envisages Governor as the executive chief of the state. All executive actions are taken in his name. B R Ambedkar called the office of the Governor as the “office of dignity”. He is not an agent of the Centre, but the governor’s post in an independent Constitutional office. His office is the linchpin of Indian Cooperative Federalism.

The controversy over the politicization of the Governor post is once again in the news over delayed decision making by the Governor of TN in the appointment of CM.

Body:

Appointment of Governor:

Under the Articles 155 and 156, Governors in India are appointed directly by the President and holds office “during the pleasure of the President”.

Role of the Governor:

  • India invented the role of state governor after Independence to act as a conduit between the ceremonial head of state (the president) and the chief minister of each state, as the president’s eyes and ears in the country’s diverse and far-flung states.
  • Their duty is to be neutral guardians of the complex relationship between the federal government and state governments belonging to different political parties.
  • But this role got diluted as Supreme Court said in one of the judgements ‘agents of the centre’.

Criticism of regarding the Governor Posts

  • The governor selections have come to be made on grounds of political partisanship, favouritism, patronage and cronyism.
  • The governors are becoming the eyes and ears for Central Government.
  • The misuse of the office of the Governor for political purposes to dispose the rival political parties’ government by invoking the Article 356 on dubious or doubtful grounds.
  • Appointment of Judges as governors.
  • Appointment of people involved in the active politics of the State.
  • Removal of Governor merely because he is not on the same political or ideological page as that of the government, this happens despite constitutional bench saying
  • A Governor won’t be removed on the ground that he is out of sync with the policies and ideologies of the Union Government or the party in power at the Centre.
  • Nor would he be removed on the ground that the Union Government has lost confidence in him.

Recommendations made regarding the Governor Posts

Sarkaria Commission Report Recommendations

  • “The Governors tenure of office of five years in a State should not be disturbed except very rarely and that too for some extremely compelling reason. It is very necessary to assure a measure of security of tenure to the Governor’s office.”
  • Governor should be an eminent person and not belong to the state where he is to be posted.
  • State chief minister should have a say in the appointment of governor
  • Governor should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in recent past.
  • Governor should not be a member of the ruling party.
  • Governor should be removed before his tenure only on the grounds as if aspersions are cast on his morality, dignity, constitutional propriety, etc.

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution recommendations:

  • Governor’s appointment should be entrusted to a committee comprising the prime minister, the home minister, the speaker of the Lok Sabha and the chief minister of the concerned state.
  • If they have to be removed before completion of their term, the central government should do so only after consultation with the Chief Minister.

The Punchhi commission recommendations

  • The person who is slated to be a Governor should not have participated in active politics at even local level for at least a couple of years before his appointment.
  • For office of Governor, the doctrine of pleasure should endand should be deleted from the constitution. Governor should not be removed at whim of central government. Instead, a resolution by state legislature should be there to remove Governor.
  • There should be provisions for impeachment of the Governor by the state legislature along the same lines as that of President by President.
  • The convention of making the Governors as chancellors of universities should be done away with.
  • The commission recommended for “localising emergency provisions” under Articles 355 and 356, contending that localised areas— either a district or parts of a district — be brought under Governor’s rule instead of the whole state.

The Supreme Court’s interpretation

  • In 2010, a constitutional bench of the Supreme Court interpreted these provisions and laid down some binding principles (B.P. Singhal v. Union of India), the Supreme Court held:
  • President, in effect the central government, has the power to remove a Governor at any time without giving him or her any reason, and without granting an opportunity to be heard.
  • However, this power cannot be exercised in an arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner.  The power of removing Governors should only be exercised in rare and exceptional circumstances for valid and compelling reasons.
  • The mere reason that a Governor is at variance with the policies and ideologies of the central government, or that the central government has lost confidence in him or her, is not sufficient to remove a Governor.  Thus, a change in central government cannot be a ground for removal of Governors, or to appoint more favourable persons to this post.
  • Such a decision, to remove a Governor can be challenged in a court of law.

Conclusion

Despite several commissions appointed by Government themselves and the Supreme Court guidelines, the post of governor is misused again and again.

It is, however, time for a thorough review of the Governor’s powers and the process of appointment and removal.

  • New rules and conventions may need to be put in place so that Governor’s constitutional mandate is strengthened.
  • All part conference to review the role of the Governors, the powers exercised by him and the manner in which he should be appointed and removed.
  • The Constitution should be amended and security of tenure must be provided to the Governors. The judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in B. P. Singhal case is the law of the land and the Government should respect it.
  • The Governors should be treated with dignity, and should not be fired only for political considerations.

The Constitution of the land prohibits the arbitrary exercise of power and the Government is not an exception to the equality law.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment;

4. A carefully curated and sensitively regulated gig economy can be the panacea for the issue of urban unemployment. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Due to the pandemic, in several Indian cities however, shuttered businesses have meant that millions of workers have either had to leave or have had to take up new forms of work, with some finding the burgeoning gig economy to be their only source of employment.

Key Demand of the question:

To analyse as to how an effective steps towards helping gig economy grow and flourish can offer solution to the problem of increasing urban unemployment and the measures need for the same.

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:

Begin the answer by defining gig economy and its nature.

Body:

Mention certain facts and figures related to Gig workers in India. For example: ASSOCHAM predicted in January 2020 that India’s gig economy will grow at a CAGR of 17 per cent to $455 billion by 2023. Also, mention the stats related rising unemployment due to the Pandemic.

Further Elaborate upon as to how this economy is capturing the interest of an increasing number of white-collar employees and the advantages it offers.

Argue for the need of bringing in policies and regulations to protect the interests of the gig workforce and a complete digital transformation. The lack of active governance to protect the interests of its workforce has been a big deterrent against participation in the gig economy. Regulations in favour of consumer interests, fair marketplaces, and labour and tax policies have been generally lacking.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. Examples of gig employees in the workforce could include freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers and temporary or part-time hires.

An estimated 56% of new employment in India is being generated by the gig economy companies across both the blue-collar and white-collar workforce. According to the Oxford Internet Institute’s ‘Online Labor Index’, India leads the global gig economy with a 24% share of the online labor market, with demand for software developers, creative and marketing professionals.

Body:

Current Scenario:

  • Industry bodies have been conducting several studies on this parallel economy and just before the advent of the pandemic had predicted India’s gig economy to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent to touch $455 billion in the next three years.
  • India at present has around 15 million freelance workers engaged in projects in sectors like IT, HR, and designing. In comparison, there are almost 53 million independent workers in the US.
  • The present Covid-19 scenario would push more of the conventional workforces towards the gig economy in India.
  • India’s workforce is adding almost four million people every year, this would have a big impact on the gig economy in the near future.
  • Even in India, firms are shrinking in size, giving rise to a large number of start-ups specialized in taking up non-core activities on contractual basis.

‘Gig’ economy is creating lakhs of jobs, but workers don’t see a future:

  • The recent Periodic Labour Force Survey from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation shows unemployment rate at a 45-year high, at 6.1%; the highest levels of joblessness is among urban youth.
  • Other reports show that over the past two years’ domestic consumption has reduced, industrial growth has flatlined, private investments are lower, and market volatility has hit drivers of employment.
  • And so, not surprisingly, many, including undergraduates and diploma holders, now look at the gig economy as a stop-gap solution until the market turns.
  • Human resources firm Team Lease estimates that 13 lakh Indians joined the gig economy in the last half of 2018-19, registering a 30% growth compared to the first half of the fiscal year.
  • Better Place, a digital platform that does background verification and skill development in the informal sector, estimates that of the 21 lakh jobs that will be created in the metros in 2019-20, 14 lakhs will be in the gig economy.
  • Food and e-commerce delivery will account for 8 lakh positions and drivers will account for nearly 6 lakh positions, says the report, based on 11 lakh profiles in over 1,000 companies.
  • Delhi, Bengaluru and other metros are expected to be the biggest drivers of this sector. And two-thirds of this workforce will be under the age of 40.

Case study of potential Symbiotic ties of Gig Economy and Government Schemes:

  • Perhaps a more viable strategy then would involve conditional government partnerships with platforms under some of its flagship schemes.
  • Here, the successful pilot of Swiggy’s Street Food Vendors programme under the PM SVANidhi, or PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi scheme, may prove to be an illustrative example.
  • While Swiggy has announced the onboarding of 36,000 street food vendors onto the platform under the scheme this month, it has also looked to ensure that each vendor is registered and certified by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
  • The simultaneous creation of jobs, alongside the voluntary adoption of quality standards is an example of a mutually beneficial partnership between the state and a platform that creates jobs while incentivising greater levels of compliance.

Key Challenges:

  • This workforce has limited employment rights like minimum wages, health benefits, sick leaves or even retirement benefits to fall back on.
  • Also, the payment is assured only on the completion of the project giving a sense of financial insecurity.
  • The lack of any kind of protection was also deterring several talented workers against participating in the economy
  • The Central government recently passed the social security code which could cover gig worker as well.
  • One of the key proposals includes the creation of a social security fund which is around 1 per cent of the aggregators’ annual turnover.
  • This fund would be used primarily for the welfare of the unorganized and the gig workforce

Way Forward:

  • The government needs to come out with some more regulations to protect the workforce of the gig economy.
  • Also, at present, there is no mechanism to address the issue of redress of disputes.
  • It could also mean countries coming together to set up a platform to extend their labour protection to the workforce who are working part-time in their country.
  • Companies employing the workforce on a temporary basis should also be made responsible to contribute to their insurance and social obligation other than just their tax commitment.

Conclusion:

The scope of the gig economy in a country like India is enormous. The government needs to come out with a comprehensive legislation to empower and motivate many to take this path. The gig economy and its workforce cannot be overlooked when we talk about the future of employment.

 

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment;

5. Economic circumstances are converging to create conducive conditions for reforms that could quell the risk of stagflation and India needs make use of it to turn this crisis in to an opportunity. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The encouraging news that effective vaccines can be administered soon, it is time for the country to begin the task of reconstruction which offers an opportunity for India to climb back on to growth trajectory. The article covers this.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain about the need for reforms and what reforms are needed in order to improve the fiscal situation in the country.

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 by giving context that the turn of the year, improving business climate, strong capital account balance and imminent mass vaccination bring good tidings to India economy.

Body:

Explain the need for reforms at this point given that the economy has been already hit by the impact of demonstration, GST and weak growth before the pandemic further battered it.

Suggest reforms in order to achieve fiscal effectiveness, capitalization of private sector, Revitalization of the banking sector, focusing on micro, small and medium enterprises, achieve financial closure for existing projects and kick-start employment and demand etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward especially with the budget upcoming in order to make most of the opportunity.

Introduction:

Economic circumstances are converging to create conducive conditions for reforms that could quell the risk of stagflation. Around the world, the pandemic has caused havoc in public health and had an unprecedented impact on economies. For India, the timing was particularly unfortunate, coming as it did after the demonetization of late 2016 and the credit market slowdown of 2019. The Indian economic engine stalled in 2020-21.

Body:

Fiscal effectiveness: A large Keynesian fiscal package has been widely discussed as an approach to combat India’s demand collapse. Many developed countries have chosen to supplement unemployment insurance, provide ‘gap income’ to households and send ‘cheques in the mail’ to relieve their pain. This consumer stimulus has been supplemented with government investment in infrastructure projects to kick-start employment and demand.

In India, since so many are outside the tax network, it is difficult to target households for money distribution. Some targeting can be done through Below the Poverty Line (BPL) household lists maintained by state governments, cross-referenced with federal cooking gas lists.

Infrastructure route is more effective approach. While the number of projects and the magnitude of spending does indeed need to increase, the more important thing is to achieve financial closure for existing projects and to implement them at speed.

Challenges:

  • India’s implementation deficit is turning out to be its biggest impediment to growth.
  • Incomplete bridges and silted waterways to a raging virus does more to gum up the works than to stimulate the economy.
  • Financial closure requires imagination and boldness. If a private business like Reliance Jio can attract major sovereign wealth funds to its capitalization-table on the strength of India’s growth story, there is no reason why the Union government cannot do so.

Way Forward

  • Completed road means new business, fresh demand and an opportunity to employ people in building other things that feed off that road.
  • Persuasion combined with innovative structures, which might take the form of guarantees and special provisions for equity investors, is the need of the hour.
  • For smaller projects, closure can come from domestic investors. For this to take place, the banking sector needs to be recapitalized.
  • Revitalization of the banking sector: An incremental approach to fixing the balance sheet challenges of public sector banks (PSBs) will result in failure.
    • PSBs need to be recapitalized to the extent of about $100-150 billion.
    • This recapitalization should only be done after separating them into good and bad banks, and by creating a clear and time-bound plan for bad-loan resolution.
    • PSB-equity-holding company created by parliamentary legislation and staffed by independent and well-qualified personnel can create the required distance from the government and begin this process of revitalization.

Conclusion:

Without this, our growth trajectory after this massive pandemic shock will be tepid and uneven. To reach the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are the backbone of our economy, we need the PSB banking system (and in turn the non-banking finance companies that they on-lend to) to kick-start another credit-growth cycle.

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. Gandhian trusteeship was an attempt at spiritualizing economics which preferred human dignity over material prosperity. Justify. (150 words)

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To explain about the trusteeship concept of Mahatma Gandhi and its aim of protecting dignity of beings over materialism.

Directive:

Justify – When you are asked to justify, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining the core idea of trusteeship philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi.

Body:

Further elaborate the concept of trusteeship with examples from Gandhian times to contemporary times. Gandhi’s economic ideas were part of his general crusade against poverty, exploitation against socio-economic injustice, and deteriorating moral standards.

He wanted to liberate the modern economic philosophy from the quagmire of materialism and bring it to a higher spiritual plane. Human actions were motivated by social objectives of the protection of human rights.

Conclusion:

End the answer by stressing the need and importance of trusteeship in present times.

Introduction:

Trusteeship is a socio-economic philosophy that was propounded by Mahatma Gandhi. It provides a means by which the wealthy people would be the trustees of trusts that looked after the welfare of the people in general. Gandhi believed that the wealthy people could be persuaded to part with their wealth to help the poor. Trusteeship is not merely a principle not even a philosophy. His idea of trusteeship needs to be revisited in times of growing inequality

Body:

Gandhiji’s doctrine of Trusteeship and Economics:

  • Gandhi’s economic ideas were part of his general crusade against poverty, exploitation against socio-economic injustice, and deteriorating moral standards.
  • Gandhi was an economist of the masses.
  • His approach was rooted in human dignity.
  • His economic philosophy is a result of innumerable experiments which he conducted in the course of his life.
  • His pragmatic approach gave a new direction to the existing socio-economic problems in the process of protecting human dignity.
  • Gandhism as a socio-economic philosophy suits not only to accomplish the higher ideals of democratic freedom and socialism but it was also thoroughly developed to meet the challenge of national and international forces of communism and capitalism.
  • The core of Gandhian economic thought is the protection of the dignity of human person and not mere material prosperity.
  • He aimed at the development, upliftment, and enrichment of human life rather than a higher standard of living with scant respect for human and social values.
  • Fundamental ethical values dominated his economic ideas.
  • He wanted to liberate the modern economic philosophy from the quagmire of materialism and bring it to a higher spiritual plane.
  • Human actions were motivated by social objectives of the protection of human rights.
  • He based his doctrine of trusteeship on the first sloka of Isopanisad, according to which one is asked to dedicate everything to God and then use it only to the required extent.
  • The principal condition laid down in it is that one must not covet what belongs to others.
  • In other words, in the first instance, everything must be surrendered to God and then out of it one may use only that which is necessary for the service of God’s creation, according to one’s strict needs.
  • This makes it clear beyond doubt that it is not in industrial and business sectors only that the doctrine of trusteeship is to be made applicable.
  • The spirit of this doctrine is detachment and service. Unless these two virtues are inculcated, it is impossible to obey the command “covet not anybody’s riches.”
  • Therefore, Gandhi’s idea of trusteeship arose from his faith in the law of non-possession.
  • Man’s dignity, and not his material prosperity, is the centre of Gandhian economics. Gandhian economics aims at a distribution of material prosperity keeping only human dignity in view.
  • Thus it is dominated more by moral values than by economic ideas.
  • According to Gandhi, trusteeship is the only ground on which he can work out an ideal combination of economics and morals.

Relevance in contemporary world:

  • The revolutions that are raised from time to time in different countries are motivated by the same objectives of human dignity, justice, and equity.
  • It is very clear that the idea is relevant today as it aims at the social, economic, and political changes in the world.
  • One of the first steps to achieve this human dignity, justice, and equity is to eliminate the ever-present troublesome element of class struggle in the society.
  • Though the Gandhian concept of trusteeship does not seek to destroy any particular class, it provides us with an idea of how to narrow the class gap.
  • The practice of all the democratic nations has been to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor to a minimum.
  • In India we find this motive behind our cooperative policies, the community development projects, and the taxation policy that heavily taxes the upper class and gives some relief to the lower strata of society.
  • We find the manifestations of the Gandhian concept of trusteeship in these policies.

Conclusion:

The philosophy of Trusteeship believes in inherent goodness of human beings. The Gandhian perspective is more relevant today than it was ever before. Gandhi wanted to ensure distributive justice by ensuring that business acts as a trustee to its many stakeholders, and specified that economic activities cannot be separated from humanitarian activities. Economics is part of the way of life which is related to collective values.


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