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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 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. Quit India movement was a revolution in itself in the long process of India’s national movement. Comment on the nature of the Quit India movement. (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 wrote about the nature of Quit India movement and how it radically differed from other movements making it the August revolution.

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:

Write about the start of the quit India movement which led to what some historians term as ‘August Revolution’

Body:

Begin the body by mentioning the fiery speech by Mahatma Gandhi and his calls to various sections of the population and the leadership.

In the next part, mention the unprecedented features that were seen as the part of the movement in terms of participation of the masses, the repression by the governments, the emergency of new leadership, parallel governments, violence witnessed, new innovative and secretive form of organization and arson caused which made Quit India movement a revolution in itself.

Conclusion:

Highlight the overall importance of the Quit India Movement which got India to the cusp of freedom.

Introduction:

‘August Kranti’ or the Quit India movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 but drew protests from the All-India Congress Committee demanding what Gandhi called was “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India. Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ inspired thousands of party workers but also created frenzy among the British who rushed to imprison the entire Congress leadership. This forced the British to act immediately and soon all the senior INC leaders were imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech.

Body:

  • After the failure of the Cripps Mission, Gandhiji gave the call “Do or Die”’ in his speech delivered at the Gowalia Tank Maidan.
  • The quit India resolution stated the provisions of the movement as:
    • An immediate end to British rule over India.
    • Declaration of the commitment of free India to defend itself against all kinds of imperialism and fascism.
    • Formation of a provisional government of India after British withdrawal.
    • Sanctioning a civil disobedience movement against British rule.
  • Gandhi’s instructions to various sections of the public:
    • Government servants: do not resign your job but proclaim loyalty to the INC.
    • Soldiers: be with the army but refrain from firing on compatriots.
    • Peasants: pay the agreed-upon rent if the landlords/Zamindars are anti-government; if they are pro-government, do not pay the rent.
    • Students: can leave studies if they are confident enough.
    • Princes: support the people and accept the sovereignty of them.
    • People of the princely states: support the ruler only if he is anti-government; declare themselves as part of the Indian nation.
  • Significance of Quit India movement:
    • The movement was carried forward without the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, or any other leader, all of whom were jailed on its commencement.
    • All sections of people participated in huge numbers.
    • Decentralized command was the prime significance of this movement.
    • The British began to seriously think about the issue of Indian independence after seeing the upsurge among the masses.
    • It changed the nature of political negotiations with British Empire in 1940s which ultimately paved the way of India’s independence.
    • The slogan of ‘Do or Die’ remains the most Kranti Kari slogan to this day.
    • It is also a symbol of political betrayal. Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) and even the undivided Communist party opposed Gandhi as well as his call for complete civil disobedience.
  • Impact of the Movement:
    • Several national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were arrested.
    • The Congress was declared an unlawful association, leaders were arrested and its offices all over the country were raided and their funds were frozen.
    • The first half of the movement was peaceful with demonstrations and processions. The peaceful protest was carried till Mahatma Gandhi’s release.
    • The second half of the movement was violent with raids and setting fire at post offices, government buildings and railway stations. Lord Linlithgow adopted the policy of violence.
    • The Viceroy’s Council of Muslims, Communist Party and Americans supported Britishers.
  • Drawbacks of the movement:
    • Use of violent methods by the volunteers and participants.
    • The movement was crushed in a relatively short period of time by the British.
    • Lack of leadership did not lead to well-coordinated guidance and progress of the movement, with the intensity restricted to a few pockets.
    • Some parties did not support the movement. There was opposition from the Muslim League, the Communist Party of India (the government revoked the ban on the party then) and the Hindu Mahasabha.
    • Meanwhile, Subhas Chandra Bose, organised the Indian National Army and the Azad Hind government from outside the country.
    • As, C Rajagopalachari was not in favour of complete independence he resigned from the INC.
  • Relevance today:
    • In 1940s the highest and the lowest in the society were fighting for one single ideal. There is no national ideal today.
    • There are ideals of the sectoral society as per their power and position acquired over past 150 years. The idea of India is sacrificed to sectoral and sectional interests.
    • Hence it should be taken care that the values of liberty and freedom should not override values sovereignty, integrity and unity of society and nation.
    • A sentiment of unity amongst all the sections of Indians is needed while conquering the challenges of 21st century India which mainly are problems of poverty, communalism and corruption that should quit India.

Conclusion:

Despite its failure, the Quit India movement is considered significant as it made the British Government realize that India was ungovernable in the long run. Post the Second World War, the question that was most prominent for the British was on how to exit India peacefully.

 

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

2. When Mountbatten announced that independence would happen ten months earlier than anticipated, newly established Indian and Pakistan states had to deal with mass migration, widespread violence and anarchy. Examine the responsibility of British administration in the crisis faced after partition. (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 examine the role played by the British directly and indirectly in the clashes after partition.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by mentioning the Mountbatten Plan and Indian Independence Act of 1947 whereby India was partitioned.

Body:

Write about the ghastly outcomes of partition – displacement, division religious lines, creating overwhelming refugee crises in the newly constituted dominions, large-scale violence, and loss of life and created an atmosphere of hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan that affects their relationship to this day.

In the next part, examine the responsibility of the British in the partition outcomes – Hasty withdrawal, non-declaration of the boundary award, no concrete steps at preventing violence, poor communication with both dominions, and lack of efforts to mitigate the violence etc.

Conclusion:

Pass a balanced judgement about the role of British.

Introduction:

15th August 1947 marked the end of colonial rule in India and the country found itself standing on the threshold of a new era wherein the task was to build a strong nation. While India found itself independent from the British, it was still to find independence from social, economic and political problems that hindered India’s growth story.

Body:

  • Mountbatten Plan:
    • In May 1947, Mountbatten came up with a plan under which he proposed that the provinces be declared independent successor states and then be allowed to choose whether to join the constituent assembly or not. This plan was called the ‘Dickie Bird Plan’.
    • Jawaharlal Nehru (Born on November 14, 1889) when apprised of the plan, vehemently opposed it saying it would lead to Balkanization of the country. Hence, this plan was also called Plan Balkan.
    • Then, the viceroy came up with another plan called the June 3 Plan. This plan was the last plan for Indian independence. It is also called the Mountbatten Plan.
    • The June 3 Plan included the principles of partition, autonomy, sovereignty to both nations, right to make their own constitution.
    • Above all, the Princely States such as Jammu and Kashmir were given a choice to either join India or Pakistan. The consequences of these choices would affect the new nations for decades to come.
    • This plan was accepted by both the Congress and the Muslim League. By then, the Congress had also accepted the inevitability of the partition.
    • This plan was put into action by the Indian Independence Act 1947 which was passed in the British Parliament and received the royal assent on 18 July 1947.
  • Provisions of the Mountbatten Plan
    • British India was to be partitioned into two dominions – India and Pakistan.
    • The constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly would not be applicable to the Muslim-majority areas (as these would become Pakistan). The question of a separate constituent assembly for the Muslim-majority areas would be decided by these provinces.
    • As per the plan, the legislative assemblies of Bengal and Punjab met and voted for the partition. Accordingly, it was decided to partition these two provinces along religious lines.
    • The legislative assembly of Sind would decide whether to join the Indian constituent assembly or not. It decided to go to Pakistan.
    • A referendum was to be held on NWFP (North-Western Frontier Province) to decide which dominion to join. NWFP decided to join Pakistan while Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan boycotted and rejected the referendum.
    • The date for the transfer of power was to be August 15, 1947.
    • To fix the international boundaries between the two countries, the Boundary Commission was established chaired by Sir Cyril Radcliffe. The commission was to demarcate Bengal and Punjab into the two new countries.
    • The princely states were given the choice to either remain independent or accede to India or Pakistan. The British suzerainty over these kingdoms was terminated.
    • The British monarch would no longer use the title ‘Emperor of India’.
    • After the dominions were created, the British Parliament could not enact any law in the territories of the new dominions.
    • Until the time the new constitutions came into existence, the Governor-General would assent any law passed by the constituent assemblies of the dominions in His Majesty’s name. The Governor-General was made a constitutional head.
  • Consequences of Partition:
    • The year 1947 was the year of one of the largest, most abrupt, unplanned and tragic transfer of population that Indian history was known. In the name of religion, people of a community killed and maimed people of the other community. Cities like Lahore, Calcutta (Kolkata) and Amritsar were titled as communal zones.
    • Muslims would avoid going into areas where mainly Hindus and Sikhs lived. Similarly, the Hindus and Sikhs stayed away from Muslim areas.
    • People went through immense sufferings because they were forced to abandon their homes and move across borders. Minorities on both sides of the border fled their homes and often secured temporary shelter in ‘refugee camps’. They often found helpless local police and administration helpless in what was till recently their own country. They travelled to the other side of the new border by all sorts of means, often by foot. Even during this journey, they were often attacked, killed or raped. Thousands of women were abducted on both sides of the border. They were made to convert to the religion of the abductor and were forced into marriage. In many cases, women were killed by their own family members to preserve the ‘family honour’. Many children were separated from their parents.
    • Those who did manage to cross the border found that they had no home. For lakhs of these ‘refugees’ the country’s freedom meant life in refugee camps, for a long time.
    • While recounting the trauma of partition, they have often used the phrase that the survivors themselves used to describe partition—as a division of hearts.
    • The partition was not merely a division of properties, liabilities and assets, or a political division of the country and the administrative apparatus. The employees of the government and the railways were also divided. Partition forced about 80 lakh people to migrate across the new border. About 5 to 10 lakhs people were killed in partition-related violence. However, beyond the administrative concerns and financial strains, the partition posed another deeper issue. The leaders of the Indian national struggle did not accept the two-nation theory. And yet, partition on religious had taken place.
  • Responsibility of the British in the partition outcomes:
    • Hasty withdrawal
    • Non-declaration of the boundary award
    • No concrete steps at preventing violence
    • Poor communication with both dominions
    • Lack of efforts to mitigate the violence

Conclusion:

Indian democracy is a heterogeneous model with a vast socio-religious and cultural diversity. It was predicted by western political analysts that the Indian model of democracy would not last long. However, it was due to India’s strong commitment to its constitutional principles that led India to not only survive as a nation but also to emerge as the leader of the newly independent countries.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations.

3. India’s Nepal policy is heading towards deeper engagement with all sections. Discuss in the light of recent developments between the nations and internal turmoil within Nepal. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Amidst the domestic political chaos, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali , visited New Delhi for the sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission on January 15, 2021.

Key Demand of the question:

To bring out the changing landscape of Indo-Nepal relation in light of recent developments between the two countries.

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:

In brief, give a historical perspective of Indo-Nepal relations.

Body:

Present a timeline that depicts major events between India and Nepal and highlights the controversies around their relations. Elaborate upon the recent boundary issue as well he internal strife being witnessed in Nepal.

Discuss the underlying factors responsible for unchanging perspectives for each other. Bring out their impacts on the relations of the both countries. Discuss ties at different levels between the two – people to people ties, government to government ties, the China factor etc.

Bring out the present picture of the Indo-Nepal ties.

Conclusion:

Mention a way forward to recalibrate the ties and ensure mutual prosperity between the two countries.

Introduction:

Recently, India and Nepal have held their Sixth Joint Commission meeting where Nepal raised the Kalapani boundary dispute with India, along with other issues. This is the first time that Nepal has presented the boundary dispute since it issued a new political map in November 2019, showing the Kalapani-Lipulekh-Limpiyadhura region of Pithoragarh district (Uttarakhand) as part of Nepal’s sovereign territory.

Body:

  • Kalapani Boundary Dispute:
  • Location:
    • It is located in the easternmost corner of Pithoragarh and shares a border on the north with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and Nepal in the east and south.
    • The area resembles a slice of cake wedged in between Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani and is the largest territorial dispute between Nepal and India consisting of at least 37,000 hectares of land in the High Himalayas.
    • The area is in India’s control but Nepal claims the region because of historical and cartographic reasons.

  • Cause of Dispute:
    • Nepal’s claims to the region is based on the river Kali as it became the marker of the boundary of the kingdom of Nepal following the Treaty of Sugauli of 1816.
    • The treaty was signed between the Gurkha rulers of Kathmandu and the East India Company after the Gurkha War/Anglo-Nepal War (1814-16).
    • Nepal lost the regions of Kumaon-Garhwal in the west and Sikkim in the east and also claims over the region west of the river Kali which originates in the High Himalayas and flows into the great plains of the Indian subcontinent.
    • The British rulers recognized Nepal’s right to the region that fell to the east of the river Kali, where the Kalapani lies.
    • According to Nepal, the east of the Kali river should begin at the source of the river, which is in the mountains near Limpiyadhura, higher in altitude than the rest of the river’s flow.
    • Nepal claims that a landmass, high in the mountains that falls to the east of the entire stretch starting from Limpiyadhura downwards, is theirs.
    • India, on the other hand, says the border begins at Kalapani where the river actually takes the name Kali near Kalapani.
    • The dispute is mainly because of the varying interpretation of the origin of the river and its various tributaries that slice through the mountains.
  • Demarcation Work:
    • The work for demarcation and mapping of the boundary between India-Nepal started in 1981, for which a Joint Technical Committee was founded with a tenure till 2007.
    • It produced 182 strip maps which depicted the border but due to various reasons, border demarcations on two segments (Susta and Kalapani) were not completed and it is still not finished.
  • Significance of the Region:
    • Kalapani is connected to the other side of the Himalayan range through the Lipulekh pass.
    • The pass has been used for centuries by Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims and tourists on their way to Kailash Mansarovar.
    • It is strategically important due to its proximity to the National Capital Region and it can be of particular concern in case of an armed conflict with China.
  • India-China Factor:
    • During the 2015 Lipulekh agreement between India and China, both nations violated Nepal’s concerns as they did not consult or seek Nepal’s opinion.
    • The agreement renewed India’s Mansarovar pilgrimage connection and also boosted trade to Tibet.
    • Nepal criticized the agreement and maintained that India should have resolved the issue with Nepal first.
  • Latest Developments:
    • Nepal published a revised official map incorporating the territory from the Limpiyadhura source of the Kali to Kalapani and Lipulekh pass in the northeast of the triangular region as its territory.
    • In May 2020, the Nepal Cabinet registered a constitution amendment motion to grant constitutional status to the map.
    • India observed that the constitutional guarantee would make Kathmandu’s position inflexible and unresolving the border dispute would become nearly impossible.
  • Nepal’s Current Stand:
    • It wants to find a solution to the boundary dispute in two segments urgently.
    • It also highlighted that despite the bitterness and differences on some issues between the two countries in 2020, overall partnership and relations moved smoothly.
  • India’s Current Stand:
    • India was anticipating the move and has clarified that it would not discuss the matter at the Joint Commission level as the boundary dispute has a dedicated Foreign Secretary-level mechanism which is yet to meet.
  • Other Issues:
    • Nepal has also approved the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield vaccine in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
    • The Ministry of External Affairs declared that the vaccines for other countries will take some time as the domestic process of rolling out of the vaccine has just begun.
    • However, it assured that the requirements of Nepal would be in priority consideration after the roll-out of vaccines.
    • Both nations discussed the review of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950.
    • The review was recommended by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) constituted by the Prime Ministers of both countries in 2016.
    • The EPG report has been completed but has not been submitted to the Indian Prime Minister.
    • Both the delegations reviewed the development partnership and discussed the benefit of the Integrated Check Posts (ICP) at Birgunj and Biratnagar.
    • They welcomed the commencement of construction of the third ICP at Nepalgunj.
    • India would build two cultural heritage projects in Nepal on the ‘Pashupatinath Riverfront Development’ and the ‘Bhandarkhal Garden Restoration in Patan Durbar’ through grant assistance.
  • Importance of Nepal For India
    • Nepal lies in the middle of India’s ‘Himalayan frontiers’, and along with Bhutan, it acts as northern ‘borderland’ flanks and acts as buffer states against any possible aggression from China.
    • Nepal shares borders with 5 Indian states- Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim and Bihar and with free movement of people and thereby acting as an important point of cultural and economic exchange in India-Nepal relations.
    • Rivers originating in Nepal feed the perennial river systems of India in terms of ecology and hydropower potential.
    • Many Hindu and Buddhist religious sites are in Nepal making it an important pilgrimage site for a large number of Indians.
  • China Factor in Indo-Nepal Relations
    • In the past, Chinese interest in Nepal was to ensure that Nepalese territory is not used by Tibetans for the breeding of discontent.
    • However, in recent times, China has made inroads into Nepal in infrastructure, education and health sectors. Also, Nepal wants to take advantage of the BRI project built by China.
    • India feels that the Chinese inroads into Nepal are necessarily to counterbalance the Indian influence in Nepal. However, Nepal has asserted that its relationship with China is purely economic and will not be hurting the Indian strategic interests in any way.
    • Also, India is of the view that the rising Nepal and China cooperation would undermine Nepal’s distinction of buffer state between India and China.
  • Way Forward
    • Although the people-to-people relationship between India and Nepal is unmatched, in recent times the not so good government-to-government relationship has curated many issues.
    • In this context: India should stop looking at Nepal purely through a security prism, and at bilateral relations only as transactional and part of a zero-sum game with China.
    • India should focus on working towards multifaceted relationships to the advantage of both nations.
    • India should negotiate diplomatically to resolve the boundary dispute with Nepal under the aegis of International law on Trans-boundary Water Disputes. In this case, boundary dispute resolution between India and Bangladesh should serve as a model for this.
    • India should maintain a policy of keeping away from the internal affairs of Nepal, while at the same time, in the spirit of friendship, India should guide the nation towards a more inclusive democracy.

Conclusion:

Boundary disputes are common ground for countries that have an ancient history and shared borders, and the India-Nepal border issues one such dispute. Thus, the two neighboring countries should not let the war of maps deteriorate their historical ties. Geography, including the open border, for one, is in India’s favour. Winning back Nepal and the confidence of its people is the challenge.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. The government’s export policy rooted in Atmanirbhar Bharat needs a robust and effective strategy aimed at improving export competitiveness for it to be successful. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The government’s focus on Atmanirbhar Bharat, has attracted criticism as well as praise. Critics have characterized it as an inward-looking import substitution policy, while supporters have touted it as a game-changer.

Key Demand of the question:

To bring out the inefficiencies in the existing export policy and schemes and suggest steps to improve it.

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:

Bring out the link between the between having a robust export oriented policy and its role in success of Atmanirbhar policy.

Body:

In the first part of the body, explain the challenges faced by India’s Export Sector – low-wage activities, which limits growth driven by domestic consumption, Intra- and inter-regional disparities in export infrastructure, Poor trade support and growth orientation among states, Poor R&D infrastructure to promote complex and unique exports.

In the next part, mention how a proper strategy can go a long way in realizing the full potential of the export sector of India as the driver of growth. Identifying sectors where India has a comparative advantage, Non-financial measures, Financial measures, unified body to market India’s goods and assign liaison officers for grievance redressal etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with supplemental measures as way forward to make it successful.

Introduction:

Rapid economic growth calls for an export strategy that goes beyond mere incentive schemes. The government’s focus on Atmanirbhar Bharat, accompanied by its introduction of production-linked incentives (PLIs) for manufacturing, has attracted criticism as well as praise.

Body:

  • Challenges faced by India’s Export Sector:
    • Almost all export incentive schemes under the FTP were ruled World Trade Organization (WTO) non-compliant by the global trade regulator. And while the government has appealed against the ruling, it knows that India must do away with a subsidies-based policy.
    • To replace the scheme, the government has now approved a new scheme named Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) which aims at refunding taxes and duties like Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel that is beyond the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to exporters.
    • Given what the RoDTEP attempts to refund, the rates under it are unlikely to be comparable to the MEIS rates of as much as five percent available until now. So, even if RoDTEP manages to pass through the WTO’s lenses, the scheme is unlikely to give the kind of price competitiveness that MEIS used to give to Indian exporters.
    • Countries like India that are dependent on intermediate and agricultural exports and are on the lookout to tap newer markets, will have to pass through tougher territories.
    • There are an estimated 6.33 crore unincorporated MSMEs engaged in non-agricultural economic activities, employing 11 crore persons across the country. MSMEs contribute nearly 30 percent of India’s gross domestic product and close to half of the country’s total exports.
    • Exporters are left with “very” few orders and if factories are not allowed to work with a minimum workforce, many of them will suffer “irreparable losses” which will bring them to the brink of closure as they are saddled with a fixed cost that in any case has to be absorbed by them.
    • With India in a lockdown and a large chunk of its workforce, particularly those employed in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), back in the hinterlands, even if demand from existing export markets comes back, our exporters will still find it difficult to cater.
    • This will give a chance to India’s competitors to take the opportunity which might lead India to lose out on some of the export markets.
    • Reduced employment of casual labour (factory closures and people moving back to their home towns) and reduced consumption.
    • Cash flow constraints: The sector has been grappling with profitability issues due to a sharp decline in yarn exports, cheaper imports etc. these issues only look to get aggravated further with the current crisis.
    • Supply chain disruption: The Garment manufacturers need to look at local sourcing opportunities, due impact on imports and export.
    • Consumer sentiment: If nationwide lockdown continues and the situation persists, it will impact consumer sentiment on the higher side, due to closure of the market and mall also to maintaining social distancing, safety and health.

atmanirbhar

  • Measures required:
    • The government should create a strategic plan. It should start by identifying sectors where India has a comparative advantage or can acquire one.
    • Once this is done, both labor-intensive and high value-addition sectors that have significant scope of growth should be prioritized.
    • Non-financial measures, such as reduced regulatory burdens for export-oriented units, research and development centres, skill development institutes for the workforce, logistical support, access to technology and marketing support should be employed liberally.
    • Financial measures such as accelerated depreciation benefits and credit support should also be instituted.
  • The government needs to create a unified body to market India’s goods across the world.
  • Currently, this is done by myriad export promotion councils, industry bodies and chambers of commerce without a unified vision or synergy.
  • This body should report directly to the Prime Minister’s Office and be assigned explicit and sector-specific export targets.
  • As a paper by Marianna Belloc and Michele Di Maio, ‘Survey of the Literature on Successful Strategies and Practices for Export Promotion by Developing Countries’, shows, the most important driver of export success is close collaboration between government departments and private exporters.
  • The government should assign liaison officers in all departments the task of addressing problems faced by exporters.
  • Also, administrative departments and ministries that deal with exports should be assigned quantitative export targets, which should be reviewed annually.
  • Way Forward
    • India needs to put some serious thoughts into innovating on the policy front. Government needs to revisit its plan as exporters would require much more support than just export incentive schemes.
    • Some steps that can be taken by the Government include –
      • Interest-free working capital term loans to exporters to cover the cost of wages, rental, and utilities
      • Employee provident funds and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation’s waiver for three months from March to May
      • Extension of pre- and post-shipment credit by 90-180 days on their maturity
      • Extension of interest subsidy benefits

Conclusion:

In sum, while self-sufficiency may be a commendable target, India’s development goals can’t be met without facing the world armed with a robust export strategy.

 

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

5. What are deepfakes? What are the threats associated with them? Existing laws in India are clearly inadequate to safeguard individuals and entities against deepfakes. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The protesters who created chaos in Capitol Hill on January 6 believe that the 2020 U.S. election was stolen by the Democrats. This is largely due to misinformation and disinformation of which deepfakes are a part.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the multitude of threats posed by Deepfakes and to write how the current laws and regulations are inadequate as a safeguard against deepfakes. 

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:

A very straightforward introduction by clearly defining deepfakes.

Body:

In the first part of the body, write about the various threats posed by deepfakes to individuals and entities. Fabricating audios, videos and texts, tarnish reputations, create mistrust, question facts, and spread propaganda. Lead to mob violence and even threaten democratic institutions etc. Give examples of the same.

In the next part, tell why existing acts such as Indian Penal Code, The Information Technology Act, 2000, Information Technology Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018 and Election Commission issued instructions during election are not sufficient to tackle the menace of deepfakes.

Suggest measures to improve their detection and regulate them better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

Deep Fakes are the digital media (video, audio, and images) manipulated using Artificial Intelligence.

Deep fakes are a new tool to spread computational propaganda and disinformation at scale and with speed.

Deep fakes have evolved from mere annoyance to high stake warfare for creating social discord, increasing polarisation, and in some cases, influencing an election outcome. It allows hyper-realistic digital falsification that can inflict damage to individuals, institutions, businesses and democracy.

Recently, cybercrime officials in India have been tracking certain apps and websites that produce nude photographs of innocent people using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms.

Dangers Associated With Deep Fake

Deep Fake makes it possible to fabricate media — swap faces, lip-syncing, and puppeteers — mostly without consent and bring threat to psychology, security, political stability, and business disruption.

Undermining democracy:

  1. A deep fake can also aid in altering the democratic discourseand undermine trust in institutions and impair diplomacy.
  2. False informationabout institutions, public policy, and politicians powered by a deep fake can be exploited to spin the story and manipulate belief.
  3. A deep fake of a political candidate can sabotage their image and reputation.
  4. Leaders can also use them to increase populism and consolidate power. Deep fakes can become a very effective tool to sow the seeds of polarisation, amplifying division in society, and suppressing dissent.
  5. Another concern is a liar’s dividend an undesirable truth is dismissed as deep fake or fake news.

Damage to Personal Reputation of personalities:

  1. Deep fake can depict a person indulging in antisocial behaviours and saying vile things.
  2. These can have severe implications on their reputation, sabotaging their professional and personal life.
  3. Even if the victim could debunk the deep fake, it may come too late to remedy the initial harm.
  4. Further, Deep fakes can be deployed to extract money, confidential information, or exact favours from individuals.
  5. A deep fake could act as a powerful tool by a nation-state to undermine public safety and create uncertainty and chaos in the target country.
  6. Nation-state actors with geopolitical aspirations, ideological believers, violent extremists, and economically motivated enterprises can manipulate media narratives using deep fakes.
  7. It can be used by insurgent groupsand terrorist organisations, to represent their adversaries as making inflammatory speeches or engaging in provocative actions to stir up anti-state sentiments among people.

Concerns regarding deep fake images:

  1. The technology becomes vulnerable because deep fake images, audio and videos are very realisticand can be used by cybercriminals to spread misinformation to intimidate or blackmail people, seek revenge or commit fraud on social networking and dating sites.
  2. It has become one of themodern frauds of cyberspace, along with fake news, spam/phishing attacks, social engineering fraud, cat fishing and academic fraud.
  3. It can be used to create fake pornographic videosand to make politicians appear to say things they did not, so the potential for damage to individuals, organisations and societies is vast.
  4. With the improvement in technology, deep fakes are also getting better.
  5. Initially, an individual with advanced knowledge of machine learning and access to the victim’s publicly-available social media profile could only make deep fakes.
  6. Development of apps and websitescapable of such editing became more frequent and easily accessible to an average user.

Way Forward Solutions:

  1. To defend the truth and secure freedom of expression, we need a multi stakeholder and multi¬modal approach.
  2. Media literacy for consumers and journalists is the most effective tool to combat disinformation and deep fakes.
  3. Media literacy efforts must be enhanced to cultivate a discerning public.
  4. As consumers of media, we must have the ability to decipher, understand, translate, and use the information we encounter.
  5. Even a short intervention with media understanding, learning the motivations and context, can lessen the damage.
  6. Improving media literacy is a precursor to addressing the challenges presented by deep fakes.
  7. Meaningful regulations with a collaborative discussion with the technology industry, civil society, and policymakers can facilitate disincentivising the creation and distribution of malicious deep fakes.
  8. We also need easy-to-use and accessible technology solutions to detect deep fakes, authenticate media, and amplify authoritative sources.

Conclusion:

  1. To counter the menace of deep fakes, we all must take the responsibility to be a critical consumer of media on the Internet, think and pause before we share on social media, and be part of the solution to this infodemic.
  2. To defend the truth and secure freedom of expression, there is a need for a multi-stakeholder and multi-modal approach.
  3. Collaborative actions and collective techniquesacross legislative regulations, platform policies, technology intervention, and media literacy can provide effective and ethical countermeasures to mitigate the threat of malicious deep fakes.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6. Justify how the Romanticisation of poverty by media and in popular culture is ineffective and un-empathetic in poverty alleviation. (150 words)

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how romanticisation of poverty by media and in real life is ineffective as well as shows lack of empathy towards the poor.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by describing romanticisation of poverty.

Body:

In the first part further elaborate in media with examples. Also add bottom of pyramid approach some companies adopt.

In the next part, substantiate how Romanticisation of poverty does not help the poor but actually harms them.

Affecting poverty alleviation programmes directly and indirectly, overemphasis on modern credit, displaying lack of sensitivity towards poor and their issues and complete disregard of ground realities.

Conclusion:

Stress upon the importance of taking an empathetic approach towards poverty alleviation.

Introduction:

Around 1 billion people across the world live in extreme poverty and more than 800 million endure hunger and malnutrition. The SDG1 calls for an end to poverty in all its manifestations by 2030. It also aims to ensure social protection for the poor and vulnerable, increase access to basic services and support people harmed by climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.

  • The concept of “knowledge societies”, according to UNESCO is based on four key principles — freedom of expression, universal access to information and knowledge, respect for cultural and linguistic diversity, and quality education for all.
  • This concept recognizes the crucial role of the media and information and communication technology in creating activities that will expand access to information, contribute to achieving the SDGs, and enable us to eventually bridge the ‘digital divide’, which is far more than a technological issue.
  • Media acts as a watchdog of public interest in a democracy. It plays an important role in poverty assessment and serves as an agency of the people to harness community energy to alleviate poverty.
  • One of the basic tasks of the media is to provide truthful and objective information to the people for their social, political and international awareness to reach an informed opinion about poverty. This makes media an important stakeholder in poverty alleviation strategies, to shoulder the responsibility of presenting unbiased honest news without any vested interest about poverty.
  • Media is considered as “Fourth Pillar” in democratic countries along with Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. Its importance in influencing readers can be gauged by the role it plays in highlighting government initiatives and criticising shortfalls of government initiatives in tackling poverty. Media keeps government accountable in tackling poverty.
  • Eg : Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned an attempt by the authorities in Uttar Pradesh to censor a local newspaper that reported that members of a disadvantaged community going hungry as a result of the lockdown ordered by the federal government.

Media Romanticising Poverty:

  1. The issues of paid news, media trial, non-issues being presented as real news while the real issues are side-lined, the news is being doctored and fact distortion for profits and political , fake news, yellow journalism are important concerns which are influencing public and killing poor rather than alleviating poverty. For instance, fear mongering through media has led to mob lynchings, attacks on the migrant population.
  2. Political party claiming that over seven crore kids were under financial duress due to the impact Covid-19 is having on Indian economy and showing photos of Bangladeshis, shows politicisation of poverty through fake news.
  3. The absence of objective journalism leads to the false presentation of truth in a society which affects the perception and opinions of people in dealing with poverty.
  4. The chase for sensationalism and higher TRP rates as observed as prerequisite media ethics in providing information. The sensationalism-driven reporting compromised qualitative adequate and wholesome news on genuine problems faced by citizens like poverty.
  5. Trial by media does not follow the due process of law and can reduce the public trust in institutions of governance like the judiciary which in turn affects the poor mostly.
  6. Paid news and fake news can manipulate public perception and can instigate hatred, violence, and disharmony among the various community within society thereby cause aggravation of poverty.
  7. With the advent of social media, technological changes, the reach of media has grown profoundly. Its reach and role in impacting public opinion have made it even more important to ensure its objectivity, non-partisanship calls for the enforcement of journalistic ethics.

Conclusion

In developing countries like India, the media have a great responsibility to fight backward ideas such as casteism and communalism and help the people in their struggle against poverty and other social evils. Hence, having journalistic ethics in place becomes very important.

It is important that the media stick to the core principles like truth and accuracy, transparency, independence, fairness and impartiality, responsibility and fair play to truly provide service to citizens in matters of poverty assessment and reduction.

 

Topic:  social influence and persuasion;

7. Assess the role that the credibility of the speaker plays in persuasion. Suggest ways to build credibility. (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 highlight the importance of credibility in the art of persuasion while suggesting measures to build it.

Directive:

Asses- evaluate or estimate the nature, ability, or quality of the mentioned concept or person or topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining credibility.

Body:

In the first part, mention the role that credibility plays in persuasion. Highly credible communicators have been found to elicit greater confidence and attitudes, positive responses, respect and more open mind to ideas and to change etc.

In the next part, suggest ways to build credibility. Speaker’s expertise, Self-Presentation, Experience, training, and associations and connections are all important factors that can boost credibility. Justify with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarize the role credibility plays in persuasion.

Introduction:

When Aristotle used the term ethos in the 5th century B.C.E. to describe one of the means of persuasion, he defined it as the “wisdom, sagacity, and character of the rhetor”. Modern scholars of communication and persuasion speak more about “credibility” as an attitude the audience has toward the speaker, based on both reality and perception, rather than an innate trait of the speaker.

Audience members trust the speaker to varying degrees, based on the evidence and knowledge they have about the speaker and how that lines up with certain factors.

Audience members trust the speaker to varying degrees, based on the evidence and knowledge they have about the speaker and how that lines up with certain factors like:

  1. Similarity: speaker’s experiences, values, and beliefs in common with the audience along with the relation of audience to the speaker because of these commonalities.
  2. Character: speaker exhibiting, in word and action, in the speech and in everyday life, honesty and integrity.
  3. Competence: speaker’s expertise and sound knowledge about the topic, especially through first-hand experience and the competence of speaker in his/her ability to communicate that expertise.
  4. Good will: Good perceptions of audience towards the speaker.

The same speaker will have a different level of credibility with different audiences. For example, in regard to presidential campaigns, it is interesting to listen to how different people respond to and “trust” different candidates.

To portray oneself as “similar” to the audience but to do so deceptively will not contribute to credibility in the long run. To only pretend to have good will and want the best for the audience will also have a short-term effect.

Not only does a speaker’s level of credibility change or vary from audience to audience, it is also likely to change even during the presentation. These changes in credibility have been labelled as initial, derived, and terminal credibility.

  1. Initial Credibility: speaker’s credibility at the beginning of or even before the speech.
  2. Derived credibilityis how the audience members judge the speaker’s credibility and trustworthiness throughout the process of the speech, which also can range from point to point in the speech.

Eg :  videos on a news program that show a political speaker on one pane of the video and a graph of the audience’s response in real time to the speaker’s message, usually noted as “approval rating” as the politician speaks.

This could be based on the perception of the speaker’s presentation style (delivery), language, specific opinions, open-mindedness, honesty, and other factors.

  1. Terminal credibilityis, credibility at the end of the speech. The obvious importance of terminal credibility is that it would factor into the audience’s final decision about what to do with the information, arguments, or appeals of the speaker – in other words, his or her persuasiveness. It would also determine whether the audience would listen to the speaker again in the future.

Ways of developing Credibility:

  1. Source credibility: This involves two major criteria namely- expertise and trustworthiness. Along with these, likeness, similarity and physical attractiveness also plays a subtle role in influencing source credibility. Source credibility is further enhanced by information on background, formal training, education, legitimacy etc. Furthermore, non-verbal communication cues like facial expressions, formal training, education, personal experience etc. also play a divisive role.
  1. Rational and emotional appeals: A rational appeal makes use of logical arguments and even factual evidence to persuade individuals about the legitimacy and likelihood of attainment of goals. An emotional appeal on the other hand, is framed to arouse emotions of the recipient and make use of the emotions as a means of persuasion. The most commonly used methods is the fear or threat appeal.
  1. Reciprocity: Reciprocation is considered as a strong tool of persuasion which leads to a sense of obligation. The rule of reciprocity is highly effective and overpowering.
  1. Commitment and Consistency: Both the values are considered highly important as they are a valuable short-cut through the complicated nature of modern existence. If a person makes any commitment, he or she will likely take up all steps to honour that. Likewise, consistency is highly valued in society as it allows a person to make effective decisions and process information accordingly.
  1. Social proof: The behaviour of people surrounding us has a great effect on our thoughts and actions. The ‘power of crowd’ is considered very important. This becomes utmost effective when there are uncertainties or similarities in a situation.
  1. Liking: This is simple as people usually agree to people whom they like. There are two primary factors which contribute to overall liking. They are: physical attractiveness and similarity of attitudes.
  1. Authority: People always listen to those who are either knowledge or trustworthy. The words of an expert are always taken seriously by everyone concerned as compared to a beginner.
  1. Scarcity: Scarcity is often underestimated by people as a method of persuasion. Anything which is of limited availability is given more importance by people. People want more of you when they cannot have.

In conclusion, speaker’s credibility does not exist alone. It is supported by a number of factors, including Aristotle’s other two traditional forms of persuasion, logos (logic, evidence, good reasoning, and lack of fallacious arguments) and pathos (personal and emotional appeals).


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