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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 6 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 biggest contribution of moderates was not in making the Economic Critique of colonialism a potent weapon amongst nationalists but in laying solid foundations on which Indian National Movement could be built upon and flourish. Comment. (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 compare the relative importance to biggest contributions of Moderates, the economic critique of colonialism and laying foundations for India’s struggle for Independence.

Introduction:

Explain Economic Critique of Nationalism which was one of the major contributions of moderates..

Body:

Elaborate upon the economic critique of nationalism – what it was, who propounded it and how it became a potent weapon to attack British by moderates as well as extremists and Gandhian phase later on.

Next, explain in detail the role of moderate in laying foundations for India’s struggle for Independence. Spreading nationalism to far and wide and protecting the nascent Indian National Congress from any serious repercussions of the British.

Conclusion:

Summarize the overall contributions of moderates of Indian national movement and their legacy.

The moderates contributed significantly in Indian freedom struggle. The main objective of the Moderates was to achieve self-government within the British Empire. They followed a middle path and not an extreme path against British Empire.

Methods employed by the Moderates:

  1. In order to achieve their aim, they made several demands for reform and indulged in criticising the Government policies.
  2. They believed in patience and reconciliation rather than in violence and confrontation.
  3. They relied on constitutional and peaceful methods in order to achieve their aim.
  4. They focus on educating people, arousing their political consciousness and creating a public opinion, which.
  5. In order to create public opinion in England, the Moderates arranged lectures in different parts of England. A weekly journal called India was published in England for circulation among the British population.
  6. Moderates used different types of newspaper and chronicles to criticise the government policies through newspaper like Bengali newspaper, Bombay chronicle, Hindustan Times, Induprakash, Rast Goftar and a weekly journal India.
  7. They also asked the Government to conduct an enquiry and find ways and means to solve the problems faced by people.
  8. They held meeting and held discussions concerning social, economic and cultural matters. The moderates organized meetings at various places like England, Mumbai, Allahabad, Pune, and Calcutta.
  9. They drafted and submitted memorandum and petitions to the government, to the officials of the Government of India and also to the British Parliament. The object of the memorandum and petitions was to enlighten the British public and political leaders about the conditions prevailing in India.

Contributions of Moderate Nationalists:

  1. The moderates led by Dadabhai Naoroji, R.C. Dutt, Dinshaw Wacha and others, analysed the political economy of British rule in India, and put forward the “drain theory” to explain British exploitation of India.
  2. Moderates were able to create an all-India public opinion that British rule in India was the major cause of India’s poverty and economic backwardness. The moderates demanded reduction in land revenue, abolition of salt tax, improvement in working conditions of plantation labour, etc.
  3. They helped in expansion of council’s i.e. greater participation of Indians in councils and helped in reform of councils i.e. more powers to councils, especially greater control over finances.
  4. The early nationalists worked with the long-term objective of a democratic self-government.
  5. They campaigned for General Administrative Reforms. They demanded and put pressure on British Empire on Indianisation of government service on the economic grounds.
  6. They asked and contributed in Separation of judicial from executive functions.
  7. They criticised:
  • Oppressive and tyrannical bureaucracy and an expensive and time-consuming judicial system.
  • Aggressive foreign policy which resulted in annexation of Burma, attack on Afghanistan and suppression of tribals in the North-West.
  • Increase in expenditure on welfare, education, especially elementary and technical, irrigation works and improvement of agriculture, agricultural banks for cultivators etc.
  1. They fought for civil rights including the right to speech, thought, association and a free press. Through campaigns, the nationalists were able to spread modern democratic ideas, and soon the defence of civil rights became an integral part of the freedom struggle.

The nationalists were, thus, able to build a national movement while undermining the political and moral influence of imperialist rule. This helped in generating anti-imperialist sentiments among the public. But, at the same time, the nationalists failed to widen the democratic base of the movement by not including the masses, especially women, and not demanding the right to vote for all.

 

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

2. Compare and Contrast the moderate and the extremist phase of the Indian National Congress. State the reasons for the rise of extremists in Indian National Congress. (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 bring out the differences and the similarities between moderates and extremists. As well as to account for the rise of extremists in the Indian National Congress.

Directive:

Compare and contrast – 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:

Begin the answer by giving the context about the between moderate and the extremist phase of Indian National Congress.

Body:

In the first part of the body, bring out detail differences between moderates and the extremists on parameters such as time period, nature of agitation, important leaders, and their relationship with British, aims and objectives and composition etc.

Also, mention a few similarities between the two. Such as, their policy towards economic exploitation, their patriotism etc.

In the next part, write about reasons for rise of extremists in Congress. Failure of moderates, new middle class, spread of nationalism and attitude of British towards moderates.

Conclusion:

Mention about how the rise of extremists marked a new phase and added new vigor and dimension to the national movement.

When the failure of moderate politics became quite apparent by the end of the 19th century, reaction set in from within the congress circles and this new trend is referred to as the ‘Extremists’ trend. This extremism developed in three main regions and under the leadership of three important individuals- Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharashtra and Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab.

Comparison between Moderates and Extremist Leadership of Congress

Basis Moderates Extremists
Phase 1885-1905 1905-1920
Aim 1. Aimed at administrative and constitutional reforms.

2. Wanted more Indians in the administration and not to an end of British rule.

3. They were secular in their attitudes, though not always forthright enough to rise above their sectarian interests. They knew the exploitative nature of British rule but wanted its reforms and not expulsion.

1. Aim of getting Swaraj

2. Wanted to end the tyranny rule of British.

Ideology 1. They believe in the efficacy of peaceful and constitutional agitation.

2. They had great faith in the British sense of justice and fair play.

3. They were inspired by the ideas of western philosophers like Mill, Burke, Spencer and Bentham. Moderates imbibed western ideas of liberalism, democracy, equity and freedom.

1. They were radical in their approach. Demands of extremists were aggressive.

2. They believed in atmashakti or self-reliance as a weapon against domination.

3. Ideological inspiration was Indian History, Cultural heritage, national education and Hindu traditional symbols. Hence, they revived the Ganapati and Shivaji festivals to arouse the masses.

4. They wanted to inculcate pride in India’s glorious culture to generate the spirit of nationalism. They invoked goddesses Kali or Durga for strength to fight for the motherland.

5. Guided by four: principles Swarajya, Swadeshi, Boycott of foreign goods and National education to make the Indian aware.

Methodology 1. They follow the principles of 3P: Petition, Prayer and Protest.

2. They believed in cooperation and reconciliation.

1. They believe in militant methods.

2. They follow the principle of atmashakti or self-reliance as a weapon against domination.

3. Method of Non-Cooperation.

4. They advocated democracy, constitutionalism and progress.

Leaders A.O. Hume. W.C. Banerjee. Surendra Nath Banerjee, Dadabhai Naoroji, Feroze Shah Mehta. Gopalakrishna Gokhale. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. Badruddin Tyabji. Justice Ranade and G.Subramanya Aiyar Lala Lajpat Rai, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Bipin Chandra Pal, Aurobindo Ghosem Rajnarayan Bose, and  Ashwini Kumar Dutt
Social Support Zamindars and Upper middle classes in towns Educated middle and lower middle classes in towns
Contribution 1. Economic Critique of British Imperialism

2. Constitutional Reforms and Propaganda in Legislature

3. Campaign for General Administrative Reforms

4. Defence of Civil Rights

1. Demand of Swaraj

2. Mass movement

3. Spread of national education

4. Upliftment of downtrodden

5. Nationalism

6. Support to revolutionary movements

7. Rise of communalism

8. Encouraged co-operative organisation

9. Set up charitable association for rural sanitation, preventive police duties, regulation of fairs and pilgrim gatherings for providing relief fund during famines and other calamities.

 

The factors that led to the rise of and extremist trend within the Congress circles

  • Frustration with moderate politics was definitely the major reason behind the rise of extremists’ reaction. The congress under moderate leadership was being governed by an undemocratic constitution, although after repeated attempts by Tilak, a new constitution was drafted and rectified in 1899, it was never given a proper trial.
  • Moderate politics reached a dead end as most of their demands remained unfulfilled and this was certainly a major reason behind the rise of extremism.
  • The failure of the Moderates to win any notable success other than the expansion of the legislative councils by the Indian Councils Act (1892).
  • The partition of Bengal in 1905 opened the eyes of the Indians to the true colors of the British rulers.

Conclusion

The extremists drew inspiration from India’s past, invoked the great episodes in the history of the Indian people and tried to infuse national pride and self-respect among them. Idealizing western culture gives the Indians an inferiority complex. The rich history of India was revived by them, especially with regard to Hindu history and ideologies.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora;

3. With shared history, the commonwealth and the recent completion of Brexit, there is a new opportunity in furthering India-U.K. ties but its position is precarious. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who, due to the ravages of COVID-19 mutations in the U.K., has expressed his inability to attend a truncated version of India’s Republic Day.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the changing contours India-U.K relations – the opportunities and costs associated with it in a post Brexit world.

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 by providing context of India-U.K relations, the historical angle, aftermath of Brexit and a ravaging pandemic.

Body:

Start by writing about the scale of existing relations with Britain. Mention the changes that Brexit will bring in to the bilateral relations between India and Britain. Mention its impact.

Analyze the opportunities for collaboration between India and Britain in the aftermath of Brexit. . One and a half million persons of Indian origin reside in Britain. Before COVID-19, there were half a million tourists from India to Britain annually and twice that figure in the reverse direction. Around 30,000 Indians study in Britain despite restrictive opportunities for post-graduation employment. Britain is among the top investors in India and India is the second-biggest investor and a major job creator in Britain. Mention about leveraging the commonwealth for mutual benefits.

Mention the obstacles: duty reductions on autos, wines and spirits and wanted India to open financial sectors such as banking and insurance, postal, legal, accountancy, maritime and security and retail. India, as always, sought free movement for service professionals.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward as to how these countries sharing a common history can have a win-win relationship.

Introduction:

A new British Council report suggests great opportunities for India and the UK from forging a stronger relationship. Closer cultural and educational ties can help to unlock that partnership. India has a shared past with Britain and needs to chart a different shared future, now that Britain has left the European Union (EU). One joint enterprise will be as members of the UN Security Council where Britain has permanent status and India holds a non-permanent seat this year and next.

Body:

  • India-UK Trade:
    • India has had strong historical ties with the U.K. and currently, it is one of India’s most important trading partners.
    • It is a significant partner of India as an FDI investor after Mauritius and Singapore which ranked second and first respectively.
    • Similarly, the U.K. is one of the largest investors in India, among the G20 countries.
    • The bilateral trade between the two countries stood at 15.5 billion USD in 2019-20 as against 16.87 USD billion in 2018-19.
    • India has engagement with the UK in sectors like pharma, textiles, leather, industrial machinery, furniture, and toys.
    • India is also looking to the UK to support it with technology-based products such as high-quality cameras, medical devices, and automobiles.
  • Close relations
    • India-U.K. links are substantial. One and a half million persons of Indian origin reside in Britain, 15 of them are Members of Parliament, three in Cabinet and two holding high office as Finance and Home Ministers.
    • Before COVID-19, there were half a million tourists from India to Britain annually and twice that figure in the reverse direction.
    • Around 30,000 Indians study in Britain despite restrictive opportunities for post-graduation employment.
    • Britain is among the top investors in India and India is the second-biggest investor and a major job creator in Britain.
    • India has a credit balance in a total trade of $16 billion, but the level is below India’s trade with Switzerland, Germany or Belgium.
    • Upgrading the ties – Both countries up for upgrading of the 2004 India-U.K. Strategic Partnership to a “Comprehensive” Strategic Partnership.
    • This will help to envision closer military ties, cooperation in Indo-Pacific strategies, counter-terrorism and fighting climate change.
    • Hoping for FTA – Britain is on a mission to secure free trade partners after Brexit. It has wrapped up nearly 20 trade deals, including most recently with the U.S., Japan, and Vietnam and is hoping for India to sign the same.
    • Corona pandemic and cooperation for vaccine manufacturing – The highlight of India’s relations will be closer cooperation on the coronavirus vaccine.
    • India’s Serum Institute set to produce and distribute the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in India, and then as part of the COVAX project to other developing countries.
  • Significance:
    • Brexit: The UK has been pushing India for a bilateral trading arrangement ever since it voted to leave the European Union (EU) in June 2016 and left finally in January 2020.
    • However, India had been resisting these efforts as it decided that the Brexit process should complete first.
    • India has been keen to understand how much of a “special and preferential” access the UK will get in the vast European market when it is out of the EU’s single-market dynamics.
    • Strategic Partner: The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and one of the strategic partners of India.
    • Strengthening bonds with the trade would seek UKs support at global issues like standoff with China in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and claim for permanent seat at UNSC.
    • Review of Trades: India could seek a review of trading agreements including renegotiating tariffs on some items along with the tightening of provisions governing country-of-origin certification.
    • UK is a populist nation advocating ‘make my country great again’ and ‘my country first’. Their brand of democratic politics is self-centered and impervious to criticism.
    • Britain has now delivered one that is tariff- and quota-free and allegedly “takes back control over our money, borders, laws, trade, and our fishing waters,” but has potential for friction both with the EU and domestically.
    • Modi visited the U.K. in 2015 when six major agreements were concluded.
    • It is unlikely that any assessment has been made of the implementation of those accords, but in contemporary diplomacy, it is common for a raft of new treaties to be superimposed on existing ones even where there is insufficient progress.
    • India has been fruitlessly negotiating a trade agreement with the EU since 2007, during which Britain was considered the main deal-breaker.
    • The EU wanted duty reductions on autos, wines and spirits and wanted India to open financial sectors such as banking and insurance, postal, legal, accountancy, maritime and security and retail. India, as always, sought free movement for service professionals.
    • The same obstacles with post-Brexit Britain will arise, because the export profile of both countries is predominantly services-oriented.
    • In response to free movement for professionals, Britain will refer to its new points-based system for immigrants, while after withdrawing from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, India is cautious about negotiating any new trade agreement, and will place greater stress on aspects related to country of origin and percentage of value addition in exports.
    • Therefore, when the time comes for a discrete agreement with Britain, the two countries may settle for a limited one perhaps covering pharmaceuticals, financial technology, chemicals, defence production, petroleum and food products.
  • Challenges in India-UK relations
    • Stagnancy in the relations – India-UK relations are stagnant for the past five years due to Britain’s Brexit preoccupation.
    • The relationship has failed to progress in this time, despite visits by Mr Modi and former British Prime Minister Theresa May.
    • Other less important issues gained the narrative – Issues such as visas and the fate of fugitive Indian businessmen in the U.K. have been allowed to dominate the narrative.
    • The MEA had responded sharply to protests at the Indian High Commission in London over the Article 370 move in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
    • Britain’s concerns about the farmers’ protests that sparked responses in New Delhi about interference in India’s internal matters.
    • Sometimes, intense interest from the British Indian diaspora makes Indian politics a factor in British politics is a reminder of how closely linked the two countries remain.
    • A new chapter in India-UK relationship would necessarily entail the U.K. to be more sensitive to India’s concerns, and for India to be less sensitive when Britain expresses its concerns.
  • Way Forward:
    • India is one of the fastest growing large economies of the world and FTA with the UK has played a significant role in enhancing the trade volume of the country.
    • However, according to policymakers, FTAs signed by India with the UK have not brought the expected tangible benefits and, on the contrary, have hurt the country’s manufacturing sector due to liberal rules of origin.
    • Therefore, there is a need for a detailed assessment of FTAs in terms of goods, services and investment flows by all the stakeholders involved.

Conclusion:

There is a every chance that the connections between India and the UK could create one of the most important and positive relationships of the 21st Century.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Government Budgeting;

4. The covid-induced revenue crunch and Chinese belligerence make the exercise of Defence budget all the more complex, as the government faces the twin imperatives of operational readiness and capability building. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

As we move closer to the Union budget, the central government faces a dilemma in what is already a tricky situation of defence allocation. This time with Chinese aggression on our borders and a considerable revenue crunch.

Key Demand of the question:

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 the context of India needing to boost its defence capabilities in the face of Chinese threat and the revenue shortage the government is facing.

Body:

Present a picture of budgetary allocation to defence and explain it in brief. Bring out the nuances and intricacies the government has faced over the years in defence allocation. State relevant facts and figures to substantiate your point.

Highlight the need to equip India’s forces, especially the Army and Air Force on the eastern front through fast-track procurements on priority. Accelerate capability development, intensify research and development efforts in areas like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, quantum computing and cyber-warfare etc.

Suggest measures to overcome this dilemma

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced way forward in order to secure of defence need and balance our fiscal situation.

Introduction:

China and India led the Asian region in military spending in 2019, according to new data for the year from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).The two countries were the second and third largest military spenders after the United States in 2019, with China spending an estimated $261 billion last year and India an estimated $71.1 billion. 2019 marked the first year that India and China figured among the world’s top three military spenders in SIPRI’s database.

Body:

  • India and China Relations:
    • Political and Diplomatic Relations
      • The Communist Party of China (CPC) has maintained friendly exchanges with 9 major Indian political parties including the BJP, Congress and left-wing parties for a long time.
      • 20 Inter-parliamentary friendship groups have been set up by China and India.
      • There are 50 dialogue mechanisms between China and India for exchanging views on various topics of bilateral, regional and global concern.
    • Economy and Trade
      • Since the beginning of the 21st century, trade between China and India has grown from less than $3 billion to nearly $100 billion, an increase of about 32 times.
      • In 2019, the trade volume between China and India was $92.68 billion.
      • With a combined market of over 2.7 billion people and a GDP of 20% of the world’s total, China and India enjoy huge potential and broad prospects for economic and trade cooperation.
    • Science and Technology
      • Both nations have held Joint Research workshops on Science and Technology Innovation.
      • Indian companies have set up IT corridors in China, which help promote China-India cooperation in information technology and high technology.
    • Defense
      • ‘Hand-in-Hand’ joint anti-terrorist exercises to enhance mutual understanding and trust, exchange training experiences and jointly improve anti-terrorism capabilities.
      • China-India defense and security consultation to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the defense field.
      • People-to-People Exchanges
    • Both nations have held meetings of China-India High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism. The two sides have made new progress on exchanges and cooperation in the fields of art, publishing, media, film and television, museum, sports, youth, tourism, locality, traditional medicine, yoga, education and think tanks.
    • Sessions of China-India High Level Media Forum and China-India Think Tank Forum were held to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the field of media and think tanks.
    • The two countries have established pairs of sister cities and provinces. For example, sister provinces and cities between Fujian Province and Tamil Nadu State, Quanzhou City and Chennai City.
    • The number of Indian pilgrims to Xizang Autonomous Region of China has surged from several hundred in the 1980s to more than 20,000 in 2019.
    • Defense Budget: Government faces the twin imperatives of operational readiness and capability building.
      • Over the years, defence allocations have been increasing incrementally. In 2019-20, India’s defence budget was 15.47% of the Union budget, equivalent to 2.04% of gross domestic product (GDP).
      • Escalating revenue expenditure on maintaining the three services has been eroding capital resources available for capability building, reducing it to about 30% of defence service allocations.
      • Consequently, even the payment of committed liabilities related to acquisitions and infrastructure has become a challenge.
      • Even the revenue allocations are below requirements, leaving the top brass wondering how the forces could be in a state of high preparedness.
      • Pension liabilities, which are well over ₹1 trillion, add to the woes.
      • Uncertainty over the availability of capital funding defeats planning for capability building.
      • The need to equip India’s forces, especially the Army and Air Force on the eastern front through fast-track procurements on priority, will necessitate heavy revenue and capital expenditure.
      • This could effectively hobble long-term capability building and ‘Make in India’, unless the government increases defence-service allocations disregarding its resource crunch.
      • Strategically, a strong naval presence in the Indian Ocean is vital for keeping China at bay.
      • It is imperative that India’s Navy embark on a mission to expand its submarine fleet, acquire mine sweepers, helicopters, equipment like advanced towed array sonars—and strengthen the Andaman Nicobar command.
      • The Navy has been trying hard to restore its share in the budget to 18%, but to meet new challenges, even this may have to increase.
      • Instead of buying aircraft for carriers, equipping the Air Force with new aircraft to replace its MiG-21s should be a priority.
      • Inducting new light utility helicopters to replace Chetak and Cheetah helicopters cannot wait.
      • The unified air defence system also needs to be revamped to overcome obsolescence.
      • India must necessarily strengthen its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities with state-of-the-art equipment, including unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned combat aerial vehicles.
      • There is a dire need for India to intensify research and development efforts in areas like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, quantum computing and cyber-warfare.
      • China’s advances in aerospace and AI have been phenomenal.
      • It seems far ahead in developing ‘intelligentized’ autonomous weapon systems.
      • India must quickly match this switch to futuristic paradigms of war.
      • The challenge before the ministry of defence (MoD) is to accelerate capability development, braving the resource crunch.
      • While combat readiness does not leave much room for curtailing revenue expenditure, implementing the Shekatkar Committee recommendations could lead to significant savings.
      • Deeper integration will rid the services of many redundancies that contribute to pressure on the budget.
      • Good examples of this are the newly-integrated air defence command and unification of the services’ fragmented logistics.
      • New theatre commands will contribute to deep convergence, removal of flab and economies of scale.
      • India has to curb defence imports if it has to accelerate the development of indigenous technology and reduce costs.
      • Early acceptance of Defence Research and Development Organization prototypes once key qualitative requirements are satisfied would help, and the doctrine of upgradation while in use need to be tried.
      • Outsourcing research to the private sector will accelerate capability development.
      • The MoD also needs to rely on private-sector production of ammunition to achieve cost efficiency.
      • The MoD’s greatest asset is land, and innovative means of monetizing it for housing and infrastructure could be evolved.
      • A contributory system of pensions for the armed forces could also be thought of.
    • Way Forward:
      • It is now time to shed stodginess and embrace new ideas.
      • Long-term capability building can take off only when the projected annual flow of funds is guaranteed through non-lapsable funding, an idea supported by the 15th Finance Commission.
      • It will be good if the ministry of finance sheds its procedural conservatism and adopts this innovation in the larger interest of national security.
      • The MoD, in turn, should put in place a special purpose vehicle to implement this great idea.
      • The government would do well to raise India’s defence budget to 3% of GDP over the next five years. For this, it could consider floating national defence bonds and/ or introducing a special cess.

Conclusion:

As two major countries and emerging economies, India and China, given their vast developmental experiences and national capacities, should join hands to take lead in offering innovative and sustainable solutions to challenges faced by humankind in the 21st century. These include combating diseases, coordinating action for disaster risk reduction and mitigation, addressing climate change and ushering digital empowerment.

 

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security;

5. Our data urgently needs protection by way of legislation as much as advanced security software systems. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:  

Last August, news broke of a data heist when Bengaluru-based Juspay, which processes digital payments for the likes of Amazon, Swiggy and MakeMyTrip, admitted a major database breach. This year, the efforts of online sleuths have revealed Credit and debit card transaction details of about 100 million Indians were found being hawked on the dark web.

Key Demand of the question:

To deliberate on the need strong and effective data protection law along with strong cyber security measures to prevent cyber-attacks.

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 with key facts such as – Although India was one of the few countries to launch a cybersecurity policy in 2013, not much has transpired in terms of a coordinated cyber approach and the India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha in late 2019 and referred to a joint parliamentary panel is yet to be passed.

Body:

Mention about the need of strong cyber security systems. Discuss examples of recent cyber-attacks. Explain the role being played currently by CERT-In.  Cyber security has become an integral aspect of national security. Moreover, its area of influence extends far beyond military domains to cover all aspects of a nation’s governance, economy and welfare.

Link the need of complementing the cyber security strategy with prudent and effective data protection law in India. Bringing about a balance between privacy of the individual and protection of the individual from adverse threats.

Suggest solutions such as creating awareness, strengthening of existing cyber security framework, mock drills, training and capacity building by bringing cyber security in education etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

The digital economy today comprises 14-15% of India’s total economy, and is targeted to reach 20% by 2024. According to EY’s latest Global Information Security Survey (GISS) 2018-19 – India edition, one of the highest numbers of cyber threats have been detected in India, and the country ranks second in terms of targeted attacks. Although Banking and Telecom are the most attacked sectors but Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Retail have also faced a significant number of cyber-attacks.

Body:

  • Instances of Data security Breach:
    • Last August, news broke of a data heist when Bengaluru-based Juspay, which processes digital payments for the likes of Amazon, Swiggy and MakeMyTrip, admitted a major database breach.
    • This year, the efforts of online sleuths have revealed the extent of it.
    • Credit and debit card transaction details of about 100 million Indians were found being hawked on the dark web, a stealthy part of the internet designed to stay off search-engine radars, and the details on sale suggest Juspay’s hacked servers as their source.
    • Confidential card details of at least 20 million cardholders are reportedly up for grabs, putting them at risk of not just swipe fraud, but other financial swindles as well.
    • As online payments rise, the dark web expands and hackers upgrade their skills, this menace is likely to multiply.
  • Significance of Data
    • Data is the large collection of information that is stored in a computer or on a network.
    • Data is collected and handled by entities called data fiduciaries.
    • While the fiduciary controls how and why data is processed, the processing itself may be by a third party, the data processor.
    • This distinction is important to delineate responsibility as data moves from entity to entity. For example, in the US, Facebook (the data controller) fell into controversy for the actions of the data processor — Cambridge Analytica.
    • The processing of this data (based on one’s online habits and preferences, but without prior knowledge of the data subject) has become an important source of profits for big corporations.
    • Targeted advertising: Companies, governments, and political parties find it valuable because they can use it to find the most convincing ways to advertise online.
    • Apart from it, this has become a potential avenue for invasion of privacy, as it can reveal extremely personal aspects.
    • Also, it is now clear that much of the future’s economy and issues of national sovereignty will be predicated on the regulation of data.
    • Data localization arguments are premised on the idea that data flows determine who has access to the data, who profits off it, who taxes and who “owns” it.
  • Why does data protection matter?
    • With a population of over a billion, there are about 500 million active web users and India’s online market is second only to China.
    • Large collection of information about individuals and their online habits has become an important source of profits. It is also a potential avenue for invasion of privacy because it can reveal extremely personal aspects. Companies, governments, and political parties find it valuable because they can use it to find the most convincing ways to advertise to you online.
    • Besides, presently, there are no laws on the utilization of individual information and forestalling its abuse, even though the Supreme Court maintained the right to privacy as a fundamental right back directly in 2017.
    • It is no exaggeration that the success of India’s digital economy depends on popular perceptions of online data security.
    • If people’s confidence in the ecosystem of e-transactions begins to fall, it would be a setback in a sphere that has won the country global admiration.
    • Apple Inc, for example, has sought to safeguard the privacy of its iPhone users from apps that track them online by putting explicit prior-consent protocols in place for data usage.
    • Too many apps, after all, get us to casually sign our data rights away through the simple device of an ‘agree’ button. The EU, meanwhile, has formulated rules that aim to grant people legal control of their own data.
  • B N Srikrishna committee
    • The Committee draft had required all fiduciaries to store a copy of all personal data in India, which was criticized by foreign technology companies that store most of Indians’ data abroad.
    • The Bill, however, trifurcates the data into three categories and mandates the storage within India’s boundaries depending upon the type of data.
    • The Bill trifurcates data as follows:
      • Personal data: Data from which an individual can be identified like name, address etc..
      • Sensitive personal data (SPD): Some types of personal data like as financial, health, sexual orientation, biometric, genetic, transgender status, caste, religious belief, and more.
      • Critical personal data: Anything that the government at any time can deem critical, such as military or national security data.
    • The Bill removes the requirement of data mirroring (in case of personal data). Only individual consent for data transfer abroad is required.
    • Personal Data: The Bill requires sensitive personal data to be stored only in India. It can be processed abroad only under certain conditions including approval of a Data Protection Agency (DPA).
    • Critical Personal Data: Critical personal data must be stored and processed in India.
    • Non-Personal Data: The Bill mandates fiduciaries to provide the government any non-personal data when demanded.
    • This intends to decrease the anonymity of users and prevent trolling.
    • The Bill includes exemptions for processing data without an individual’s consent for “reasonable purposes”, including security of the state, detection of any unlawful activity or fraud, whistleblowing, medical emergencies, credit scoring, operation of search engines and processing of publicly available data.
    • The Bill calls for the creation of an independent regulator Data Protection Authority, which will oversee assessments and audits and definition making.
    • Each company will have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who will liaison with the DPA for auditing, grievance redressal, recording maintenance and more.
    • The Bill proposes “Purpose limitation” and “Collection limitation” clause, which limit the collection of data to what is needed for “clear, specific, and lawful” purposes.
    • It also grants individuals the right to data portability and the ability to access and transfer one’s own data. It also grants individuals the right to data portability, and the ability to access and transfer one’s own data.
    • Finally, it legislates on the right to be forgotten. With historical roots in European Union law, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this right allows an individual to remove consent for data collection and disclosure.
    • The Bill stated the penalties as: Rs 5 crore or 2 percent of worldwide turnover for minor violations and Rs 15 crore or 4 percent of total worldwide turnover for more serious violations.
    • Also, the company’s executive-in-charge can also face jail terms of up to three years.
    • Advantages:
      • Data localization can help law-enforcement agencies access data for investigations and enforcement.
      • As of now, much of cross-border data transfer is governed by individual bilateral “mutual legal assistance treaties”.
      • Accessing data through this route is a cumbersome process.
      • Social media is being used to spread fake news, which has resulted in lynching’s, national security threats, which can now be monitored, checked and prevented in time.
      • Data localization will also increase the ability of the Indian government to tax Internet giants.
      • A strong data protection legislation will also help to enforce data sovereignty.
    • Disadvantages
      • The bill is like a two-sided sword. While it protects the personal data of Indians by empowering them with data principal rights, on the other hand, it gives the central government with exemptions which are against the principles of processing personal data.
      • The government can process even sensitive personal data when needed, without explicit permission from the data principals.

Conclusion:

Government policy on data protection must not deter framing any policy for the growth of the digital economy, to the extent that it doesn’t impinge on personal data privacy.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

6. Emotional Intelligence helps one to balance interpersonal relationships empathetically. Explain. (150 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To explain as to how emotional intelligence an individual to understand and behave with empathy in interpersonal relationships.

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:

Introduction should mention the essence of EI in one’s own word. Discuss the concept.

Body:

Furnish example to bring clarity. Discuss about practical aspects of applying Emotional Intelligence in interpersonal relationships. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management teach one to behave with empathy with others. It equips to understand other point of view especially if it’s a divergent view. It acts as relationship builder.

Conclusion:

Conclude that by applying Emotional Intelligence, not only empathetic relationships but also effectiveness and efficiency in administration can also be brought.

Introduction:

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

Body:

  • Concept of EI:
    • According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:
    • Self-awareness:
      • The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.
      • Hallmarks of self-awareness include self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-deprecating sense of humour.
    • Emotional awareness:
      • This deals with knowledge of one’s emotions and their effects. People having this competency are more aware of their feelings and performance.
    • Accurate self-assessment:
      • This involves being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. One is open to feedbacks, new viewpoints, etc.
    • Self-confidence:
      • This relates to complete affirmation of one’s worth and abilities. They are usually more confident and are able to make sound decisions despite any uncertainties or pressures
    • Self-management:
      • Ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting. Hallmarks include trustworthiness and integrity; comfort with ambiguity; and openness to change.
    • Adaptability:
      • This involves flexible attitude towards change. People with this competency find it easy to handle changing routines, multiple roles and even shifting priorities.
    • Innovativeness:
      • This involves getting easy with and open to new information and ideas. People who possess this are able to gather new ideas from multiple sources, set challenging roles and are able to take calculated risks. They evolve original solutions to various problems.
    • Social Awareness:
      • The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
      • Empathy does not necessarily imply compassion. Empathy can be ‘used’ for compassionate or cruel behaviour. Serial killers who marry and kill many partners in a row tend to have great emphatic skills.
    • Relationship management:
      • Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks, and an ability to find common ground and build rapport. Hallmarks of social skills include effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness, and expertise building and leading teams.
      • EI equips to understand other point of view especially if it’s a divergent view.
      • EI acts as relationship builder.
    • Motivation:
      • A passion to work for internal reasons that go beyond money and status -which are external rewards, – such as an inner vision of what is important in life, a joy in doing something, curiosity in learning, a flow that comes with being immersed in an activity.
    • Skills needed to be emotionally intelligent
      • Self-Awareness: Emotionally intelligent people are aware of how they feel, what motivates and demotivates them, and how they affect others.
      • Social Skills: Emotionally intelligent people communicate and relate well with others. They listen intently and adapt their communications to others’ unique needs, including diverse backgrounds. They show compassion.
      • Optimism: Emotionally intelligent people have a positive and optimistic outlook on life. Their mental attitude energizes them to work steadily towards goals despite setbacks.
      • Emotional Control: Emotionally intelligent people handle stress evenly. They deal calmly with emotionally stressful situations, such as change and interpersonal conflicts.
      • Flexibility: Emotionally intelligent people adapt to changes. They use problem-solving to develop options.

Conclusion:

Good ethics reaffirm the emotional intelligence of a person. High emotionally intelligent individuals are more adept at reasoning through the emotional antecedents of their own and others’ behaviour and using this information to guide thinking and action. Individuals high on emotional intelligence will be able to manage their emotions and react less aggressively to the behaviours of others.

 

Topic: ethical issues in international relations and funding;

7. International ethics and morality can help heal wounds caused by the Pandemic. Examine. (150 words).

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To establish how international morality ease suffering during the pandemic and help the world as a whole move on and rebuild together.

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:

International ethics is an area of international relations theory which concerns the extent and scope of ethical obligations between states especially when a global event such as a pandemic takes place.

Body:

Start by explaining what is International Morality? – International Morality consists of moral principles which are endorsed by a number of nations. The rules of customary International Law reflect International Morality. One of the major sources and sanctions of International Law has been International Morality.

Give examples. As some countries start mass vaccination, many countries especially countries belonging to the third are in fear of being left out. As such, it is essential for us to examine the nature of International Morality in international relations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting the importance and need of it in healing from the wounds the from the global pandemic.

In today’s borderless world, there are a lot of interactions at various levels (country, professional, personal). The difference in the value systems and diversity makes Ethics in International relations imperative. Ethics provides guidance to the people in their international affairs.

International Morality consists of moral principles which are endorsed by a number of nations. The rules of customary International Law reflect International Morality. One of the major sources and sanctions of International Law has been International Morality.

International Morality acts as a factor or limitation of international relations. It acts as a limitation on National Power. But at the same time it can enable a nation to project and justify its policies as policies based on moral principles. As such, it is essential for us to examine the nature of International Morality in international relations.

Human behaviour in society is regulated by moral and legal norms which are the basis of order in society. These impose duties on each man to respect the rights of others and hence enlarge the freedom of all. Moral norms are based upon social sanctions, whereas legal norms are based upon the sanctions of force. Together these perform the function of regulating human behaviour in the interest of social good.

Importance of International Morality/ Ethics

Legitimacy:

  1. Ethics does its work in the world by granting and withdrawing legitimacy. History shows that the mitigation and cessation of unjust practices ultimately comes from the assertion of core values.
  2. The end of slavery began with various revolutions and rebellions—yet the source of its ultimate demise was its loss of moral legitimacy.
  3. Communism, for the most part, ended in similar fashion. The Soviet Union collapsed when the values that held it together were no longer credible and sustainable. Its legitimacy evaporated.

Rights and Responsibilities

  1. Rights are protections and entitlements in relation to corresponding duties and responsibilities.
  2. There have been many attempts at forging general agreement on the composition of human rights—the best known being the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and additional international agreement such as the Refugee Convention.

Pluralism

  1. Ideology presents a significant hurdle. Many political ideologies— “isms” and doctrines that are absolute and universal—result in what Hans Morgenthau called “the crusading spirit.”
  2. Absolutes and moral abstractions in politics can be problematic for the ethicist. Ideologies like nationalism, Marxism, communism, religious fundamentalism and even Western liberalism in the wrong hands, have been great simplifiers, prone to excesses of political operators who use them to cloak their political interests in the guise of high-minded moral purpose.

Peace and Harmony:

  1. Ethics aim at “Peaceful World”, “Respect for All” & “Equality” while forming international organizations, declarations & forums. E.g.: The demand for equality in IMF & UNO shows the demand of adhering to ethics in a way.

Solidarity

  1. Natural disasters and refugee crisis situations require a more compassionate view of the global community. These are not isolated events and rather, the duty of every global citizen to help in the times of crisis.

Eg: Aid during natural disasters (Nepal earthquake)

Fairness:

  1. Fairness addresses normative standards for appropriate contribution, equal regard and just desert.
  2. Contemporary methods for thinking through these standards include John Rawls’s “difference principle,” Amartya Sen’s “capabilities approach,” Peter Singer’s “one world,” and Kwame Anthony Appiah’s “cosmopolitanism” just to name a few.

Eg: As some countries start mass vaccination, many countries especially countries belonging to the third are in fear of being left out.

Others:

  1. Ethics helps to avoid the “Ego Clash” & “Ideological Clash” between two or more nations.
  2. For instance, the disruption between India & Pakistan relations can be avoided if both take a decision based on ethics.
  3. Upholding the letter of law is more important than upholding the spirit of law. State your opinion regarding this statement with examples. 

The letter of the law can be defined as any formal code, rule, regulation, or principle that must be followed according to governmental mandates or policies. Spirit of the law, which we define as a social and moral consensus of the interpretation of the letter of the law.

When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not necessarily the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not necessarily adhering to the literal wording.

One example of this difference, perhaps, can be seen in laws that can be consistent with the letter of the Constitution but not with its spirit.  (Of course, saying this requires us to specify what we think the spirit of a law is and that is a subjective matter.)  In the early 1960s, there were states that banned the use of contraceptives.  There is nothing in the Constitution that says that people have the right to use contraceptives.  Therefore, such a law follows the letter of the law.  On the other hand, that sort of law seems to violate the spirit of the Constitution.  The spirit of the Constitution seems to be that people should be able to do as they wish with their private lives because we have a limited government and not a totalitarian one.  The Supreme Court ended up ruling that such laws violated the Constitution because they went against its spirit.

The Supreme Court of India has in ‘letter and spirit of law’ upheld the basic spirit of the Indian constitution: equality before law, ignoring other moralities dictated by different ‘sects’ and sections of the society.

Sometimes letter of law seems to be more powerful on ground

For example, an angry spouse may break the “spirit” of domestic violence laws by destroying items in their home during an argument, creating an unsafe and dangerous environment, without violating the letter of the law. Thus, even if the angry spouse does not personally threaten or touch the victim, committing technically “legal” violence, society may view the angry spouse as deserving of punishment

Building on the literature on social norms, fairness, and the law, The Letter Versus The Spirit of the Law Model offers great insight into the world of law and behavioral economics. This model not only demonstrates that breaking the spirit of the law is more important than breaking the letter of the law, but that breaking the spirit of the law may be worthy of penalization, even in cases where the letter is not violated. Through the five tenets of the model, we also established that there may be an optimal zone for enforcement to occur and that it is unfair to violate the spirit of the law, as this action breaks social norms. And, at the most basic level, we hope that the language and conceptual distinction this model provides will set the stage for future studies as well as offer a framework for describing those complex situations in which the spirit of the law but not necessarily the letter of the law is violated.


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