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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 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. A peculiar distinction to the politics of the Swarajists was their avowed intention of wrecking the reforms from within councils as well outside it. Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To elaborate upon the modus operandi adopted by the Swarjists – The methods of obstruction to all government sponsored in order to destroy the prestige of the councils as well as to carry out the nationalist work outside it.

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:

Begin by mentioning the reason for the formation of Swaraj Party, its aims and objectives.

Body:

Mention about the nature of the struggle and resistance that the swarjists carried out.

In the first part, mention the nature they adopted within the councils in order to destroy the prestige of the councils. Throw out all proposals for legislative enactments, force recognition of their rights, support measures and bills necessary for the healthy growth of national life, help the constructive programme of the Congress, to prevent the drain of public wealth, project the rights of labour etc.

In the next part, write about the nationalistic work done by the swarjists outside the legislative councils. Inter-communal unity, removal of untouchability, Village organization, boycott of selected British goods, organisation of agencies for propaganda outside India of national work and enlisting sympathy and support of foreign countries in the struggle for ‘Swaraj’ etc.

Conclusion:

Underscore the importance of the Swarjists and their contribution to Indian national Movement.

Introduction:

Post Non Cooperation movement, a question arose in Indian National Congress about the future course of action, i.e. – whether to get politically involved in governance or not. The sudden withdrawal of Non-Cooperation Movement lead to dissatisfaction all around, it leads to the diffusion of the gained energies in different ways.

Indian National Congress was divided into two ideologies, the Swarajist and the No Changers, based on the council participation or boycott. Swarajist’s main aim was to end the boycott of the council, whereas No-Changers argued to continue the boycott.

Swarajist consisted of – CR Das, Vithalbhai Patel, Motilal Nehru, Hakim Ahmed Khan. No Changers consisted of – C Rajagopalachari, Vallabhbhai Patel, MA Ansari, Rajendra Prasad.

Body:

This intra party conflict lead to the creation of Khilafat Swaraj Party within the Congress, it wanted to contest elections, due to the following arguments – –

  • They wanted to use the legislative assemblies a part of their struggle against imperialism.
  • They wanted to use this method, for constructive criticism, to make people aware & to make them politically active during the period of political vacuum.
  • They wanted to take forward the National demand of framing of New Constitution.
  • They argued that it would be a new front against the Britishers and it would not dilute the Non-Cooperation movement.
  • They wanted to use it for criticisms and obstructions, wherever possible.

With the noble intentions in mind, the Swarajists were able to practically get the following successes-

Positive Contributions of the Swarajists –

  • They took up three major problems – Self-governance, civil liberties, repeal of repressive laws & development of indigenous industries.
  • Their first and foremost contribution was defeat of Public Safety Bill, which aimed to enable the government to deport undesirable foreign nationalist.
  • They did excellent work in field of education, health, sanitation, anti-untouchability and khadi promotion.
  • They exposed the hollowness of reform of 1919.
  • They criticized the views of “No Changers”, they felt boycotting the council and sitting back would lead to diffusion of tempo.
  • They raised the quality of life in municipalities under them.
  • Their views regarding Self-rule, freedom rights etc. -were heard not only in assemblies but all across India.
  • They outvoted government several times, on matters of budgetary grants and through adjournment motions.
  • They filled the political vacuum created by withdrawal of NCM.

However, the gained positivity could not be sustained for a very long period of time, the side effects of power soon came to surface and it lead to the following negatives.

Criticism of the Swarajists

  • Several times, they were not able to resist peaks and privileges of councils.
  • On religious grounds- Swarajists were divided into Responsivists and Non-Responsivists.
  • They could not form a national coalition in elections of 1926.
  • Methods of Obstruction and deadlock have its own limitations.
  • They failed to support the peasants cause in Bengal.
  • Lack of coherent policy, coherent could not sustain.

Conclusion:

Hence, despite the obstructions and changing socio-political climate, Swarajist managed to achieve and strengthen their hold for some time that also gave a momentum to the coming nationalist movement, they played a significant role in the public discourse in legislation which was guiding principle for future national movement leaders like J. Nehru. It also led as a starting point for numerous others ways of struggle like the Peasant movements, Trade movements etc. in immediate future.

 

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

2. The appointment of the Simon Commission revived a ‘moribund Indian nationalism’. Critically Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

The appointment of an all-White Simon Commission sprung to action nationalists of all creed and shades as the national movement had entered in to a state of passivity. But was it really ‘moribund’?

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start the answer by writing about the need to appoint Simon Commission and why it was opposed by Indians.

Body:

Write about the immediate and unanimous response in nationalists of India regarding the insult heaped on them by not including an India in deciding their own future. Boycott of the Commission, Hartals, mass rallies, processions and black-flag demonstrations all over. New form of Protests which were improvised to send the message and the popular slogan of ‘Simon Go Back’.

Also, write about the repressive government response resorting to lathi charges and arrests.

In the next part, analyze that the Simon boycott movement provided the first taste of political action to a new generation of youth and provided impetus to a passive national movment by re-invigorating the leaders.

However, analyse that nationalism was not ‘moribund’ but just passive after the withdrawal of the non-cooperation movement. Mention about the struggle of swarjists, congress constructive work etc to substantiate your points,

Conclusion:

Conclude by the summarizing the overall impact of Anti-Simon Commission protests.

Introduction:

The Government of India Act, 1919 had a provision that a commission would be appointed after 10 years to investigate the progress of the governance scheme and suggest new steps for further reforms. The commission popularly came to be known as “Simon Commission”.

Body:

Indian Reaction’s to Simon Commission

  • Indian response to Simon Commission was immediate and unanimous.
  • All shades of political opinion in India unanimously condemned the Commission as not a single Indian was included in it.
  • That no Indian should be thought fit to serve on a body that claimed the right to decide the political future of India was an insult to the self-respect of Indian.
  • They were also angered as the commission violated the principle of self-determination.
  • The Indian response to the Commission was a unanimous resolution by leaders of every shade of opinion to boycott it

Response of Congress

  • It was the Indian National Congress that turned the boycott into a popular movement.
  • The Congress had resolved on the boycott.
  • At its annual session in December 1927 at Madras Congress decided to boycott the commission ―at every stage and in every form.
  • In the prevailing excitable atmosphere, Jawaharlal Nehru had even succeeded in getting passed a snap resolution declaring complete independence as the goal of the Congress.

Response of other political factions

  • The call for a boycott of the Commission was endorsed by the Liberal Federation led by Tej Bahadur Sapru,
  • It was also endorsed by the Indian Industrial and Commercial Congress,
  • The Hindu Mahasabha and majority faction of the Muslim League under Mohammed Ali Jinnah also went in favour of boycott.
  • Gandhiji did not himself participate in this movement, although he gave it his blessings.
  • Some others such as Unionist in Punjab and Justice Party in the south decided not to boycott the commission.

Anti-Simon Commission Upsurge

  • All the important cities and towns observed a hartal on the day that the members of the Commission landed in India
  • People were out on the streets participating in mass rallies, processions and black-flag demonstrations.
  • Go Back Simon’ was imprinted on banners, placards and even kites.
  • Everywhere that commission went — Calcutta, Lahore, Lucknow, Vijayawada, Poona — it was greeted by a sea of black-flags carried by thousands of people.

Police Repressions

  • Police repression was harsh and merciless and processions were attacked
  • There was popular anger at the manner in which the police dealt with the protesters.
  • In Madras, a major clash with the police resulted in firing and the death of one person.
  • Lathi charges were becoming all too frequent, and even respected and senior leaders were not spared the blows.
  • In Lucknow, Jawaharlal and Govind Ballabh Pant were beaten up by the police.
  • But the worst incident happened in Lahore where Lala Lajpat Rai, the hero of the Extremist days and the most revered leader of Punjab, was hit on the chest by lathis on 30 October
  • This, now elderly succumbed to this attack a few days later, on 17 November 1928.
  • The death of Lajpat Rai created tremendous resentment against the British rule all over.
  • It was his death that Bhagat Singh and his comrades were seeking to avenge when they killed the white police official, Saunders, in December 1928.

Impact of Simon Commission on Indian National Movement:

  • The Commission’s report was published in 1930. Before the publication, the government assured that henceforth, Indian opinion would be considered and that the natural outcome of constitutional reforms would be dominion status for India.
  • The Simon boycott movement provided the first taste of political action to a new generation of youth.
  • It gave a fillip to the formation of youth leagues and associations all over the country.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Bose emerged as the leaders of this new wave of youth and students
  • The upsurge among the youth also proved a fruitful ground for the germination and spread of the new radical ideas of socialism that had begun to reach Indian shores.
  • These new radical ideas also led to emergence of groups such as Naujawan Bharat Sabha in Punjab, and the Workers’ and Peasants’ Parties etc.
  • Lord Birkenhead’s challenge to Indian leaders to produce an agreed constitutional scheme was accepted by various political factions, this brought them together on a common platform.
  • It recommended the abolition of diarchy and the setting-up of representative governments in the provinces.
  • It also recommended the retention of separate communal electorates until the communal tensions had died down.
  • The Simon Commission led to the Government of India Act 1935 which acted as the basis for many parts of the current Indian Constitution.
  • Motilal Nehru presented his Nehru Report to counter its charges that Indians could not find a constitutional consensus among themselves. This report advocated that India be given dominion status of complete internal self-government.
  • The arrival of the Commission gave an impetus to the Indian independence movement by galvanizing leaders and masses.

Negatives:

  • No universal franchise was proposed.
  • The position of governor-general remained unaffected.
  • No financial devolution was proposed

Aftermath:

  • Before the publication of the report, the British government stated that Indian opinion would henceforth be taken into account, and that the natural outcome of the constitutional process would be dominion status for India.
  • To consider the proposals of the commission, the British government convened three round table conferences of the representatives of the British government, British Indian and Indian princely states.
  • On the basis of these discussions, a ‘White Paper on Constitutional Reforms’ was prepared and submitted for the consideration of Joint Select Committee of the British Parliament.
  • The recommendations of this committee were incorporated (with certain changes) in the next Government of India Act of 1935.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Reviving SAARC is crucial to countering the common challenges brought about by the pandemic and India can use it as a stage for its global ambitions. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Thirty-six years after it first began, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), appears to be all but dead in the water. But despite the despondency, the rationale for its existence is intact.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of SAARC in addressing the covid-19 related common challenges in South Asia and using it as platform for India’s global ambitions.

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:

Begin by writing about the formation of SAARC and how over the years the organization has stopped being an effective because of Indo-Pak bilateral tensions.

Body:

In the first part, write about the reasons for as to why the SAARC has been practically defunct.

In the next part, address as to how SAARC can be helpful in countering the common challenges posed by COvid-19 and the disruptions caused by it south Asia. Unique South Asia’s experience of the pandemic, counter future pandemics, developing cold storage chains, The pandemic’s impact on South Asian economies, promoting a more intra-regional approach towards tourism, health security, food security, and job security.

In the next part, mention how India can leverage SAARC for its global ambitions.  A growing distaste for ‘globalisation’ of trade, travel and migration, preference for nativism, self-dependence and localising supply chains, dealing with the challenge from China etc. India’s proposal to launch a COVID-19 Emergency Fund was given positive reception etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the importance of SAARC and need to revive it.

Introduction:

SAARC was set up in 1985 and today it has 8 members: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Srilanka. Afghanistan joined SAARC only in 2007. SAARC member nations cooperate on a range of issues from agriculture, economy, poverty alleviation, S&T and culture to encourage people to people contact.

SAARC aims at integration of south Asian nations for undertaking collective efforts to achieve common objective of regional stability and prosperity. Despite geographical contiguity and historical and cultural links, the SAARC region remains the most disconnected regions in the world.

India proposed to set up the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for SAARC countries in March 2020, with India making an initial non-trivial offering of $10 million; and the formation of a Rapid Response Team (of doctors, specialists, testing equipment and attendant infrastructure) to be put at the disposal of the SAARC, at this moment of grave peril.

Body:

saarc

Common challenges brought about by the pandemic:

  • Studies have shown that South Asia’s experience of the pandemic has been unique from other regions of the world.
  • The pandemic’s impact on South Asian economies is another area that calls for coordination.
  • Apart from the overall GDP slowdown, global job cuts which will lead to an estimated 22% fall in revenue for migrant labour and expatriates from South Asian countries, there is an expected loss of about 10.77 million jobs and $52.32 billion in GDP in the tourism sector alone from the impact of COVID-19.
  • South Asia with a population of 1.8 billion has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to poor public health infrastructure, pervasive informality and poor coverage of social protection.
  • The key sectors such as MSMEs, tourism and labour-intensive exports   such   as   readymade garments have been most adversely impacted, leading to loss of jobs for the millions of people in the sub region.
  • The economic growth has come to a grinding halt and the threat of rising incidence of poverty, hunger and inequality is real.

Other challenges that has hindered SAARC in achieving its objectives:

  • India-Pakistan rivalry: This has become a bottleneck in achieving effective coordination. India has conveyed that terrorism and talks cannot go on simultaneously.
  • Bilateral issues: Long pending issues between members like fishermen issue between India and Srilanka, Teesta water sharing between India and Bangladesh, lack of direct access to Afghanistan to other members except Pakistan have restricted in arriving at common ground for regional integration.
  • SAARC charter doesn’t allow discussion of bilateral issues as a result of which the contentious issues continue to simmer and countries are not able to come forward.
  • Perceived Big-Brother attitude of India: Asymmetry in the region due to sheer size of Indian economy and stature in international arena requires India to play an over active role. However, this is perceived as big brother attitude by other members creating mistrust.
  • Internal Crises: Almost every member is facing numerous internal crises like Tamils issue in Srilanka, Constitutional crisis in Nepal, religious fundamentalism in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Terrorism and instability in Afghanistan. Consequently, there is no much enthusiasm to achieve collaboration in the sub-continent.
  • China’s inroad into SAARC countries: Increasing presence of china in the region and reservations of India with China is creating roadblocks. India cannot match the levels of financing by China. China with its grand plan of BRI has lured the small nations.
  • Poverty- Ridden: Even though the region accounts for 21% of world population, its share in global GDP is just around 3%. Being one of the poverty ridden areas of the world, there is limited avenues to achieve synergy.
  • The lack of finance, research and technology has also hampered trade facilitation, monitoring etc
  • The non-availability of adequate infrastructure in the form of roads and cargo/ship handling equipment has also hindered the progress.
  • Due to same agriculture produce like Basmati rice in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the scope of trade is also inherently less.
  • Tariff and non-tariff barriers have also played their role in keeping the level of integration low, especially since Pakistan hasn’t extended MFN status to India and therefore, with so many items been put under the ‘negative list’.

Effective grouping like SAARC will be beneficial for India:

  • The importance of regional cooperation particularly in the spirit of South-South cooperation between geographically contiguous countries cannot be belittled.
  • Seamless physical connectivity: Connectivity between regions increases the economic interaction and collective growth of region. This increases the economic and political bonhomie between nations and its people.
  • Trade and Commerce: Trade liberalizations under SAFTA, operationalization of SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services (SATIS) have the potential to tackle the developmental deficit together.
  • Common threats of Terrorism, Climate Change impacts, Poverty and Socio-Economic backwardness can be fought together as the problems plague all countries equally.
  • Unexplored and high-potential areas like Power generation, Science & Technology, Sports, Culture can be strengthened through agreements and MoUs.

Measures needed to revive SAARC:

  • India should take the lead and work with its neighbors to slash the tariff and non-tariff barriers.
  • SAARC should also seek free and preferential trading arrangements with other regional bodies, notably the EU and the ASEAN. It should also remain fully focused on the SAARC social charter to spread out its reach to the common man.
  • There is a need to focus on small politics instead of big politics to resolve conflict in conflicting regions. This would mean that they focus on economic cooperation and other small ways that can create cooperation and more peace
  • SAARC cannot be effective unless it places itself on a managerial position to achieve regional order, forcing all the members to act mutually in making the region a ‘zone of peace’ and the center for world business.
  • All countries should come together to sort out their differences, either multilaterally or bilaterally. It’s not necessary to sort out the differences but despite that, it is necessary to work with the differences like that of India-China, Japan and China, Russia and Japan.
  • The bilateral issues between member nations should be resolved. Bilateral Issues between India- Pakistan, India- Sri Lanka, Pakistan- Afghanistan etc. must be improved with serious engagement and collaboration – working together to bring peace and stability as a common good in the region.
  • Information on terrorism, trafficking, smuggling etc. must be shared and joint exercises must be conducted to build mutual trust and capability.
  • SAARC needs to work on Improving infrastructure and regional connectivity – Collaboration in scientific research, universities exchange programs, tourism etc. will have a positive effect on relations among countries.

Conclusion:

SAARC has the potential to transform the South Asian Region. Mutual mistrust and non-cooperation should not be allowed to undermine this potential. Deeper regional economic integration will create greater interdependence with India acquiring the central role, which, in turn, would serve India’s strategic interests too. SAARC should function as an autonomous institution by which driving principles, strategic actions, and rules of law can be implemented in a way that is relevant to both, its own members and other rising powers.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. What are development finance institutions (DFIs)? Account for the need of DFI to channel funds for infrastructure projects in India. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her July 2019 budget speech. She spoke about the need for a specialist DFI to channel funds to the ₹1 trillion of infrastructure projects planned over the next five years. Ever since there have been calls to consider a new DFI.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain regarding DFI and their role in funding developmental projects and to assess whether India needs DFI 2.0.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define development finance institutions (DFIs).

Body:

In the first part, briefly mention the India’s experience with DFI’s so far.

In the next part, mention the aims and objectives of DFI’s. Give the advantages of having DFI’s fund the infrastructure projects in India and mention some special concessions made for DFI’s to function which make them an interesting choice to fund infra projects. Also mention about, as how DFI’s are more suitable than banks infra financing.

Next, bring out the drawbacks of DFI’s and the why they were converted to universal bank. Suggest steps to overcome those drawbacks to make DFI’s as good alternative to fund Infra projects.

Conclusion:

Pass a balanced judgement regarding DFI’s to fund infra projects in India.

Introduction:

A World Bank survey defines a development bank as ‘a bank or financial institution with at least 30 per cent State-owned equity that has been given an explicit legal mandate to reach socioeconomic goals in a region, sector or particular market segment’. It uses the terms Development Bank and Development Financial Institution interchangeably.

The development finance institutions(DFIs) or development finance companies are organizations owned by the government or charitable institution to provide funds for low-capital projects or where their borrowers are unable to get it from commercial lenders.

Body:

Need of DFI to channel funds for infrastructure projects in India:

  • The role of DFIs—as development finance institutions making impact investments for sustainable development, generating profits—allow them to be a catalytic intermediary between private capital and the markets in the developing world.
  • These institutions are meant to provide long term finance to agriculture, industries, trade, transport, and basic infrastructure.
  • A DFI provides financing for development activities at less than strictly commercial terms. It delivers this through technical assistance grants, structured loans, different types of guarantees and credit enhancement and sometimes even equity.
  • DFIs can have a specific sectoral or broad focus. The specific sector ones typically cover infrastructure, core industries, small and medium enterprises, agriculture, and exports. Broadly focused ones tend to cover some or all of these sectors.
  • Meeting the SDGs by 2030 is not impossible but it will require over US$11.5 trillion in investments, according to United Nations estimates.16Donors and aid agencies have been playing an indispensable role in helping low- and middle-income countries achieve these goals.
  • DFIs were transformational for many countries in their digital revolution and they can continue to play an important role as developing countries undergo the fourth industrial revolution.
  • DFIs can help finance the expansion of new technologies in the emerging markets that will bring us closer to achieving the sustainable development goals.
  • By making targeted investments to fund innovative ventures, they can leverage many additional billions of dollars and turn the hopes and aspirations of the developing world into real opportunities.
  • DFIs can once again take center stage and use their resources to mitigate the risks posed by new technologies while creating an enabling environment that will foster innovations that can spur long-term economic development

DFIs in India:

Agriculture

  • NABARD: National Bank for agriculture and rural development was established in July 1982. It is the apex institution in the area of agriculture and rural sectors.

Industry

  • IFCI: Industrial Finance Corporation of India was established in 1948. 1st DFI in India.
  • ICICI: Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Limited established in 1955 by an initiative of the World Bank. In 2002, ICICI limited was merged into ICICI Bank Limited making it the first universal bank of the country.
  • IDBI: Industrial Development Bank of India was set up in 1964 under RBI and was granted autonomy in 1976. It is responsible for ensuring adequate flow of credit to various sectors. It was converted into a Universal Bank in 2003
  • IRCI: Industrial Reconstruction Corporation of India was set up in 1971. It was set up to revive weak units and provide financial & technical assistance.
  • SIDBI: Small Industries development bank of India was established in 1989.

Foreign Trade

  • EXIM Bank: Export-Import Bank was established in January 1982 and is the apex institution in the area of foreign trade investment. Provides technical assistance and loan to exporters

Housing:

  • NHB: National Housing Bank was established in 1988. It is the apex institution in Housing Finance

Conclusion:

Development finance institutions (DFIs) have emerged as one of the fastest growing agencies pursuing innovative financial solutions to support development efforts worldwide. A new-age DFI would have to come to terms with governance issues if it is not to eventually become a fiscal burden. One way would be to subject it to the discipline of the stock market.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections

6.  Honesty alone is not enough. As a civil servant, you need to be efficient and effective as well while staying morally upright. Analyze. (150 words)

Reference: Ethics 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 argue for the need for a civil servant to be efficient along with being honest as just the virtue of honesty itself will not be able to fulfil the goals and aspirations of the government.

Directive:

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Write about honesty as a virtue in civil servants.

Body:

In detail, analyze that though honesty is a very good virtue to have but it alone it is not enough to get the work done. The ‘honest-only’ bureaucrat is a crusader who smells a rat everywhere and in every file. Hence, nothing gets delivered.

Mention the repercussion that extreme honesty without emotional intelligence can cause to the civil servant as well as the overall administration.

Give the need to supplement honesty with efficient and getting the work done. Bureaucrats who are honest and efficient. They may not be as visible as those who are going hammer and tongs against the “dishonest”. They are not crusaders. They are the “doers”. A civil servant must be practical.

Give examples of the above.

Conclusion:

Summarize that honest and efficient bureaucrats committed to the cause for which they are paid from the public exchequer. They are performing their tasks as professionals.

Introduction:

Honesty and uprightness are the hallmarks of civil servants. Civil servants possessing these qualities are considered as a backbone of any strong organizations. Honesty or absolute integrity, truthfulness and hard work without indulgences form an inherent part of the life a civil servant whose sole objective is to efficiently deliver services to the public.

Body:

In Indian bureaucracy, major administrative decisions are taken by civil servants, who like normal humans are susceptible to make mistakes. But there is a thin line between intentional and bonafide mistakes, which needs identification for making administration easy as well as transparent.

On account of the emerging socio-political environment, this performance is not always expected to be in public good. It is also a pity that on occasions, the bureaucrat is expected to perform in the interest of a few. Unfortunately, such occasions are increasing by the day and those bureaucrats who do not conform are not only shown the door but also harassed. What is even more appalling is the fact that far from good performance getting recognised, there are instances of officers being penalised for performing well.

Honesty is often equated with courage. Courage to stay with morals and values when one have immense power in hands and when system can turn into corrupt system. Integrity may also be interpreted as work ethic, to get the right things done for the community.

Immense Powers and responsibilities of civil servants:

  • In India’s democracy, the ultimate responsibility for running the administration rests with the civil servants. They are expected to deal personally with the manifold problems of modern administration.
  • Civil servants are empowered with security of tenure and provided with powers of decision making for community welfare.
  • They have powers to make important appointments and maintain law and order at local level.
  • They have power to implement policies at ground level for welfare of the people.
  • They are provided with powers to monitor financial resources wrt monitoring and implementing policies on the ground.
  • Among the members of the civil services are administrators in the central government and state government, emissaries in the foreign missions/embassies, tax collectors and revenue commissioners etc. with immense powers.
  • Civil servants are the actual makers of Indian law and policy. They work on behalf of the elected government. It is mandatory for them to form certain rules and policies according to the government’s views and interests.
  • They cannot be removed by any state or central government, but can only be retired.

Why integrity is important and a challenge in civil services?

  • Integrity is the fundamental moral concept in civil services. It is an important basis of ethical behaviour and ethical competency.
  • With such immense powers it often leads to conflict of interest between personal gains and benefits.
  • Often with power of financial resources, low integrity lead to corruption.
  • It is associated with the value of being honest and maintain strong moral principles.
  • Integrity includes financial integrity, professional integrity and intellectual integrity.
  • The notion of integrity has to do with perceived steadiness of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcome.
  • They stand up for their best judgement within a community of people trying to discover what in life is worth doing.
  • With reference to accountability, integrity serves as a measure of willingness to adjust value system to maintain or improve its consistency when an expected result appears incongruent with observed outcome.

Conclusion:

For an individual, it is professional duty and obligation which determine his professional integrity. This means conducting professional relationship and activities fairly, honestly, legally, and in conformance with the professional code of ethics. Thus integrity is the about fostering the ethical behaviour throughout an institution through personal example, management practices and ethical training.

 

Topic:  Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. India must redefine its public services delivery in order to enhance citizen service experiences that will also be aiding in revenue generation. Comment. What key factors that should be considered in redefining delivery of public services in India? (150 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

With the unforeseen break in economic activity and a new paradigm of operating in a home-office, we are confronted with a new normal where everything is going to be far more digital. In all of this, the citizen becomes an important asset. And in order to support citizens, improving public service delivery becomes a key task for governments.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving a simple definition of public service delivery.

Body:

Argue for the need to redefine India’s public service delivery – ever increasing population, high rate of population, inequalities, women empowerment, rapid growth in urbanization, bolstering economic development, driving global environmental programmes and the disruptions created by the Pandemic.

Mention the key factors to be considered in redefining the public service delivery. Citizen centricity, digitization, Scalability considerations, Monetization etc.

Conclusion:

Mention the importance of having an efficient and robust public service delivery service.

Introduction:

Governance and the quality of public services can impact a country’s economic growth. The objective of public services is to deliver social protection to the poor and vulnerable and to alleviate poverty. Public services reduce inequitable distribution of resources and correct historical inequities, such as caste based discrimination and gender inequities.

Body:

State of Public service delivery in India

  • Public service delivery is unsatisfactory when compared with other countries at similar levels of development.
  • Weak monitoring and leakages in Public services and programmes
  • leakages from the PDS
  • Expenditure on education by the state accounted for approximately 3% of the GDP in 2015-16 (Economic Survey of India 2015-16)
  • Annual budgetary allocations for health, including water and sanitation, have remained stagnant at less than 1.5% of GDP
  • Low levels of human capital and inadequate access to basic infrastructure

Concerns / Challenges

  • Large disparities between the poor and non-poor in the country and it is the poor that suffer much more due to weak public service delivery
  • The climate of ‘identity politics’, with citizens preferring to vote for politicians belonging to the same community, caste, or religion as them.
  • The share of elected politicians with criminal backgrounds has been rising and this can negatively impact economic growth.
  • Politicians foresee electoral returns to providing assistance to citizens.
  • Corruption has often been cited as the primary cause of governance deficit
  • The poor are not fully aware of the returns of health and education
  • In this age of social media, we have WhatsApp rumours and fake news.
  • There are administrative challenges associated with the use of ICT services.

Ways to reform Public Service delivery:

  • Reorganization of Ministries and Departments: Revisiting and redefining the role of the Ministries and Departments in the context of the evolving role of governance and the need for greater collaboration.
  • Uniformity: There is a need to bring greater uniformity in the description of the roles and functions of various Ministries/Departments.
  • Performance Management System (PMS): For each public service, the major components of PMS are the service’s aims and mission, strategic objectives set by the organization offering it, breaking down of the objectives for the components of the organization, the identification of agreed-upon targets of individual manager and his/her key result areas, periodic reporting of performance against targets and standards, review by superior authority, and remedial action.
  • Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms:  Ensuring accountability and promoting an ethical approach in governance institutions is vital to improved governance. The Commission has already made detailed recommendations on this issue in its Fourth Report on Ethics in Governance.
  • Timely resolution: Ensure effective and timely resolution of public grievances as part of efforts to ensure improved work culture in government offices.
  • Encourage technology: Identification and repeal of rules or processes and archaic acts and to encourage the use of information and communication technology in the submission of information.
  • Redefining collector’s role: re-defining the collectors’ role, as many schemes or programs are being executed through the collectors.
  • Training: In order to sensitize officers of all India services about the recommendations of the 2nd ARC on issues like citizen centricity, equity, ethics, the primacy of law and accountability, the central training institutes have been asked to conduct training programs at the induction and mid-service level.
  • Corruption Free: Elimination of corruption is not only a moral imperative but an economic necessity for a nation aspiring to catch up with the rest of the world. Improved governance in the form of non-expropriation, contract enforcement, and decrease in bureaucratic delays and corruption can raise the GDP growth rate significantly.
  • Integrity: Integrity is much more than financial honesty. Public office should be treated as a trust. There are two facets to corruption: (1) the institution which is highly corrupt; (2) individuals who are highly corrupt. There is a need to work on public profiteering and also value to be attributed to the services rendered by officers. Interlocking accountability is a process by which evaluation could be done easily and accountability ensured.
  • Good governance:  Good governance must be founded on moral virtues ensuring stability and harmony. Confucius described righteousness as the foundation of good governance and peace. The art of good governance simply lies in making things right and putting them in the right place. Confucius’s prescription for good governance is ideally suited for a country like India where many of our present-day players in governance do not adhere to any principle and ensure only their own interests.
  • Ethics:There is a need for ethics in every profession, voluntary organization and civil society structure as these entities are now vitally involved in the process of governance. Finally, there should be ethics in citizen behaviour because such behaviour impinges directly on ethics in government and administration.
  • Promoting informal work culture: maintaining relationship-centered not individual-centered by focusing on networks of relationships that affect service quality and the well-being of clients. The structure should ensure a free flow of information among all departments and levels in the organization.
  • Participation-based not authority-based by involving everyone in policy and practice decisions that affect service quality and individual client well-being. Decentralization of operations and authority must take into account technological and operational constraints.
  • Periodic changes in policies: Like private organizations, government organizations are not immune to dynamic changes. Policies need to be evaluated and reformed periodically to enhance productivity.
  • Job Enrichment Motivationthrough work innovation or job enrichment is not only possible but also desirable from the point of view of both job performance and human satisfaction, since ‘work becomes more challenging and interesting for employees as their knowledge and skills improve and as they are increasingly able to influence decisions affecting their jobs’.

Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life:

  • Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of public interest.
  • Integrity: Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  • Honesty: Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
  • Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

Factors affecting Public service:

  • Decentralisation
    • Natural resources may be better conserved by local rather than top-down governments
    • Strengthen capacity of local governments through regular training of public officials
  • Affirmative action
    • Improved access to public services for marginalised groups.
  • Performance-related pay
    • Performance-related pay can increase overall effort by public officials and hence, improve public service delivery
    • Non-monetary incentives, e.g. transfers to preferred location, can be an easy and effective reward for good performance.
  • Community mobilisation
    • Low-cost method of putting pressure on public officials to deliver.
    • Participation of women from poor, lower-caste, vulnerable households in Self-Help Groups (SHGs)
    • A lot of the change that we are aspiring for is going to come through collectives of poor households coming together for their entitlements and rights.
  • Technology
    • Technology can be leveraged to monitor and improve accountability in service delivery.
    • Recent advances in using biometric identification and electronic transfers of benefits have led to reduction in programme leakages
    • Using information and technology to enhance efficiency of health care delivery.
    • Need for increase in tele-density and broadband penetration
  • Cohesion and consensus among states
    • All of these public services are essentially implemented at the state level.
    • Hence, cohesion and consensus among states should be promoted and laggard states need to be incentivised to undertake reforms.

Conclusion:

Public administration in India faces immense challenges. These include the need to maintain peace and harmony, to alleviate deep poverty, to sustain a healthy and inclusive economic growth, to ensure social justice and to achieve ethical, efficient, transparent and participative governance. The development of positive work culture with full of ethical values in public administration or government offices is vital to address all challenges.


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