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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 March 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: Social empowerment,

1. The LGTBQ community needs an anti-discrimination law that empowers them to build productive lives and relationships irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and place the onus to change on state and society and not the individual. Evaluate. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

Recently, in response to the backsliding of LGBTIQ rights in some EU countries, notably Poland and Hungary, the European Parliament has declared the European Union an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone”. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the needs of an anti-discrimination law for the LGTBQ community that empowers them to build productive lives and relationships irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, 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. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

One can start with the recent happenings in the EU zone.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

  • Discuss first the Global Scenario of LGBTIQ Community.
  • Then move onto present the status of LGBT Community in India. Even after section 377 of IPC was removed by the Supreme Court in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, 2018 case, there is a wide gap in implementing a policy for the LGBTIQ community and making a better environment for them.
  • Discuss in detail the challenges being faced by them.
  • Support your argument with related legal developments.
  • Suggest solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

LGBTIQ- the acronym meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, intersex and queer. The European Parliament symbolically declared the entire 27-member bloc as an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone”. A majority of countries in the EU (23/27) recognise same-sex unions, with 16 legally recognising same-sex marriage.

Since March 2019, more than 100 Polish regions, counties and municipalities have adopted resolutions declaring themselves to be free from LGBTIQ “ideology”. According to these resolutions, local governments should refrain from encouraging tolerance towards LGBTIQ people and withdraw financial assistance from organisations promoting non-discrimination and equality.

Body:

Global Scenario of LGBTIQ Community:

  • Poland: the LGBTIQ community in Poland is subject to increased discrimination and attacks, notably growing hate speech from public authorities, elected officials (including the current President), and pro-government media. They also deplore the arrests of LGBTIQ rights activists, and the attacks and bans on Pride marches.
  • Ireland:Ireland legalized same-sex marriage. The country, which had decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, became the first country to allow same-sex marriage at a national level by popular vote.
  • USA:US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal.
  • Nepal:Nepal legalized homosexuality in 2007 and the new Constitution of the country gives many rights to the LGBTIQ community.

Need for anti-discrimination law for LGBTIQ community in India:

  • Even after section 377 of IPC was removed by the Supreme Court in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, 2018 case, there is a wide gap in implementing a policy for the LGBTIQ community and making a better environment for them. Right now, they are facing many issues that are underlined below.
  • Family:The problem of sexual orientation and gender identity leads to fighting and family disruption. Lack of communication and misunderstanding between parents and their LGBTIQ children increases family conflict.
  • Discrimination at Work Place: LGBTIQ suffers from the socio-economic inequalities in large part due to discrimination in the workplace.
  • Injustice:Human rights and fundamental rights are applicable to all people, but the state has failed to create special legislation which protects the rights of LGBTIQ Minority community and to provide real justice to them.
  • Health Issues:Criminalisation of homosexuality leads to discrimination and results in LGBTQ people getting poor or inadequate access to services within the health system. It also creates barriers to both the availability and the ability to access HIV prevention, testing and treatment services.
  • Isolation and Drug Abuse:They gradually develop low self-esteem and low self-confidence and become isolated from friends and family. These people mostly get addicted to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to get themselves relieved of stress and rejection and discrimination.

Conclusion:

The LGTBQ community needs an anti-discrimination law that empowers them to build productive lives and relationships irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and place the onus to change on state and society and not the individual. Government bodies, especially related to Health, and Law and Order need to be sensitised to ensure that the LGBTQ community is not denied public services or harassed for their sexual orientation.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: e-governance

2. e-governance can be an harbinger of financial inclusiveness and social transformation in India. Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Governance by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper II, theme e-governance.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to discuss in what way e-governance can be an harbinger of financial inclusiveness and social transformation in India,

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:

Introduce by defining and linking e-Governance and inclusive growth. E-Governance is the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to the processes of government functioning in order to bring about ‘Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent’ (SMART) governance.

Body:

The answer body must explain in what way e-governance cana be an harbinger of financial inclusion and social transformation.

Discuss the dimensions using examples like – its role in various sectors such as Agriculture, farming, small scale industries, Rural India etc.  

List down the merits it can bring – Financial literacy and inclusion, better quality of employment and the social transformation aspects like – affordable and quality education, Health, betterment of the weaker sections etc.

Conclusion:

One can conclude with the efforts of the government in this direction and suggest way forward.

Introduction:

E-Governance is basically associated with carrying out the functions and achieving the results of governance through the utilization of what has today come to be known as Information and Communications Technology. It is basically the application of ICT to the processes of Government functioning in order to bring about ‘Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent’ (SMART) governance.

Body:

Potential of e-governance in India:

  • Increased effectiveness and efficiency: Improved government services in terms of accomplishing the government purpose and functioning
  • Better services: E-government can provide quick and timely services to stakeholders
  • Transparency by dissemination and publication of information on the web: This provides easy access to information and subsequently makes the system publicly accountable. Also as the web enables the free flow of information, it can be easily accessed by all without any discrimination.
  • Accessible anytime and anywhere: As e-government services are provided through web-enabled technology they can be accessed anytime and anywhere
  • User-centred ICT enabled services: The services are primarily intended for the use of citizens, businesses, and the government itself
  • Reduced cost and time: As the services are provided through internet they are effective in terms of time and cost
  • Economic Development: The deployment of ICTs reduces the transaction costs, which makes services cheaper. For example, rural areas suffer on account of lack of information regarding markets, products, agriculture, health, education, weather, etc. and if all this could be accessed online would lead to better and more opportunities and thereby prosperity in these areas.
  • Social Development: The access to information empowers the citizens. The informed citizenry can participate and voice their concerns, which can be accommodated in the programme/ project formulation, implementation, monitoring and service delivery. Web-enabled participation will counter the discriminatory factors affecting our societal behaviour.
  • Reduced bureaucracy: E-government minimizes hierarchy of authority for availing any government services
  • Automation of Administrative Processes: A truly e-governed system would require minimal human intervention and would rather be system driven.
  • Enhanced communication and coordination between government organizations: An automated service can be accessed by different organizations coordination and further communication became relative
  • Paper Work Reduction: An immediate impact of automation would be on the paperwork. Paperwork is reduced to a greater extent with communication being enabled via electronic route and storage and retrieval of information in the electronic form. All this has led to the emergence of less paper office’.
  • Quality of Services: ICT helps governments to deliver services to citizens with greater accountability responsiveness and sensitivity. Quality of services improves, as now the people are able to, get services efficiently and instantaneously.
  • Elimination of Hierarchy: ICT has reduced procedural delays caused by hierarchical processes in the organisation. Through Intranet and LAN, it has become possible to send information and data across various levels in the organisation at the same time.
  • Change in Administrative Culture: Bureaucratic structures have been plagued by characteristics aptly described by Victor Thompson as ‘bureau-pathology’. From the day s of New Public Administration, efforts have been made to find ways to deal with the pathological or dysfunctional aspects of art.
  • Strategic Information System: Changing organisational environment and increasing competitiveness have put pressures on the performance of the functionaries. Information regarding all aspects needs to be made available to the management at every point to make routine as well as strategic decisions.

Some of the e-Governance models implemented in India: Customs and Excise (Government of India); Indian Railways; Postal Department; Passport/Visa; Bhoomi – Automation of Land Records (State Government of Karnataka); Gyandoot: Intranet in Tribal District of Dhar (State Government of Madhya Pradesh); e-Mitra – Integrated Citizen Services Center/ e-Kiosks (State Government of Rajasthan) etc.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, has visualized e-Governance in the Indian context to mean: “A transparent, smart e-Governance with seamless access, secure and authentic flow of information crossing the interdepartmental barrier and providing a fair and unbiased service to the citizen.”

Conclusion:

Thus, e-Governance has led to better access to information and quality services for citizens; Simplicity, efficiency and accountability in the government and expanded reach of governance. In the light of wide range of e-Governance initiatives that have been carried out in India with varying degrees of success as well as the diversity of conditions in the country, the report recognizes that e-Governance projects have to be designed for specific contexts and environments

 

Topic: Citizens’ Charters

3. “Citizens’ Charters” initiative is a response to the quest for solving the problems which a citizen encounters while dealing with the organisations providing public services. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  Times of India

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper II, theme citizen’s charter.  

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of citizen’s charter and its importance.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with definition of Citizen’s charter- First introduced in early 1990’s; they represented a landmark shift in the delivery of public services.

Body:

Basically a set of commitments made by an organization regarding the standards of service which it delivers. It comprises of the Vision and Mission Statement of the organization, stating the outcomes desired and the broad strategy to achieve these goals and outcomes. Clearly states what subjects it deals with and the service areas it broadly covers.

The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 (Citizens Charter) seeks to create a mechanism to ensure timely delivery of goods and services to citizens. It requires every public authority to publish a CC within six months of the commencement of the Act and levies a penalty of up to Rs 50,000 for failure to render services.

Present its principles, merits and shortcomings.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting its importance.

Introduction:

A Citizens’ Charter represents the commitment of the Organisation towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redress mechanism, transparency and accountability. The concept of Citizens Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its users.

 Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Government of India (DARPG) initiated the task of coordinating, formulating and operationalising Citizen’s Charters.

Body:

The basic objective of the Citizens Charter is to empower the citizen in relation to public service delivery.

Importance of Citizen’s charter in the Governance of developing nation like India:

  • To make administration accountable and citizen friendly.
  • To ensure transparency.
  • To take measures to improve customer service.
  • To adopt a stakeholder approach.
  • To save time of both Administration and the citizen

Problems faced in implementation of Citizen’s charter:

  • One size fits all: Tendency to have a uniform CC for all offices under the parent organization. CC have still not been adopted by all Ministries/Departments. This overlooks local issues.
  • Silo operations: Devoid of participative mechanisms in a majority of cases, not formulated through a consultative process with cutting edge staff who will finally implement it.
  • Non-Dynamic: Charters are rarely updated making it a one-time exercise, frozen in time.
  • Poor design and content: lack of meaningful and succinct CC, absence of critical information that end-users need to hold agencies accountable.
  • Lack of public awareness: only a small percentage of end-users are aware of the commitments made in the CC since effective efforts of communicating and educating the public about the standards of delivery promise have not been undertaken.
  • Stakeholders not consulted: End-users, Civil society organizations and NGOs are not consulted when CCs are drafted. Since a CC’s primary purpose is to make public service delivery more citizen-centric, consultation with stakeholders is a must.
  • Measurable standards of delivery are rarely defined: making it difficult to assess whether the desired level of service has been achieved or not.
  • Poor adherence: Little interest shown by the organizations in adhering to their CC. since there is no citizen friendly mechanism to compensate the citizen if the organization defaults.

Way forward:

  • Wide consultation process: CC be formulated after extensive consultations within the organization followed by a meaningful dialogue with civil society.
  • Participatory process: Include Civil Society in the process: to assist in improvement in the contents of the Charter, its adherence as well as educating the citizens about the importance of this vital mechanism.
  • Firm commitments to be made: CC must be precise and make firm commitments of service delivery standards to the citizens/consumers in quantifiable terms wherever possible.
  • Redressal mechanism in case of default: clearly lay down the relief which the organization is bound to provide if it has defaulted on the promised standards of delivery.
  • One size does not fit all: formulation of CC should be a decentralized activity with the head office providing only broad guidelines.
  • Periodic updation of CC: preferably through an external agency.
  • Fix responsibility: Hold officers accountable for results: fix specific responsibility in cases where there is a default in adhering to the CC.

Conclusion:

Citizen’s Charter is playing a prominent part in ensuring “minimum government & maximum governance”, changing the nature of charters from non-justiciable to justiciable & adopting penalty measures that will make it more efficient & citizen friendly. The Sevottam model proposed by 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission for public Service Delivery can be regarded as a standard model for providing services in citizen centric governance.

 

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

4. The changing perception of China and the US in Southeast Asia calls for the re-calibration of India’s Act East policy. Do you agree? Examine. (250 words)

Reference:  Times of India

Why the question:

A recent survey of Southeast Asian perception of China by Singapore-based Institute of Southeast Asian Studies reveals interesting facts that may have implications for our Act East policy and help our policy makers calibrate their approach towards the region.  Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the statement “The changing perception of China and the US in Southeast Asia calls for the re-calibration of India’s Act East policy” and present a close examination of the same.

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:

You can start with the findings of the report – State of Southeast Asia 2021 survey: tracking the trust and distrust ratings of major powers in the region.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Talk about declining perception of China: Juxtaposing trend about China as simultaneously the most influential and most distrusted power in the region.  Then quote the reasons – China’s charm offensive towards Southeast Asia through its offensive cloud and ground diplomacy. Mask and Vaccine diplomacy failed to fill the trust deficit due to the Chinese bellicosity of island-building and land grabbing and allowing the Coast Guards to use weapons against foreign ships.

Risk of Spillover effect: Indonesia warned heightened the risk of “spillover conflict” in Indonesia’s territorial waters around the Natuna Islands. Percentage of those who distrust China increased from 51.5% in 2019 to 60.4% in 2020 and 63%. 5% believe that “China’s economic and military power could be used to threaten Southeast Asian countries’ interest and sovereignty, including the use of economic tools and tourism to punish their foreign policy choices.”

Rise in the stature of the US: Southeast Asians’ trust in the US has improved, increasing from 30.3% in 2020 to 48.4% in 2021. Together with the EU, the US enjoys the strongest confidence to provide leadership in maintaining the rules-based order, upholding international law and championing the global free trade agenda.

Conclusion:

Conclude that under such a perception shift, it’s up to Indian foreign policy makers to decide how they would calibrate their approaches in reaching out to Southeast Asia in the coming days.

Introduction:

A recent survey of Southeast Asian perception of China by Singapore-based Institute of Southeast Asian Studies reveals interesting facts that may have implications for our Act East policy and help our policy makers calibrate their approach towards the region. In contrast to China’s trust quotient going downward, the US image in the eyes of Southeast Asians improved, even in countries apparently leaning heavily towards Beijing.

Body:

Changing perception of China and the USA in Southeast Asia

  • Distrust around Chinese intentions: Beijing’s charm offensive towards Southeast Asia through its cloud and ground diplomacy, together with its apparent success in containing the pandemic domestically, its “mask and vaccine diplomacy” couldn’t change that trust deficit.
    • It was primarily arising from the former’s bellicosity, artificial island building and land grabbing.
    • Most recently its new legislation allowing Chinese Coast Guard personnel to “take all necessary measures”, including the use of weapons, against foreign ships it deems as intruders.
    • The chief of Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency has warned that China’s new coastguard law has heightened the risk of a “spill over conflict” into Indonesia’s territorial waters around the Natuna Islands.
    • Vietnam believes that China’s new law in effect expands its grip over the South China Sea and increases the possibility of “dangerous encounters” between its coastguard and the maritime patrol forces of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and even the US.
  • Increasing trust towards USA: Likewise, the share of respondents having confidence in the US as a strategic partner and provider of regional security increased from 34.9% to 55.4%.
    • Together with the EU, the US enjoys the strongest confidence of the Southeast Asians to provide leadership in maintaining the rules-based order, upholding international law and championing the global free trade agenda.
    • Southeast Asians’ image of Washington seemed to have improved with the coming of the Biden administration. 61.5%, (up from 53.6% last year), favour aligning with the US over China, (38.5%, down from 46.4% last year), if the region was forced to pick sides.

Need for recalibration of India’s Act East Policy

  • Act East Policy seeks economic integration of India’s economy with global supply chains which are concentrated in Southeast Asia and East Asia.
  • In order to become a manufacturing hub, India should do holistic reforms to make its manufacturing competitive (India hasn’t witnessed major reforms since 1991).
  • India must compensate for not joining RCEP through stepping up support to nations against Chinese aggression.
  • Just like China is showing its assertiveness in the Indian Ocean, India must increase its engagement in the South China Sea.
  • In this context, India’s engagement with Quad and ASEAN countries is a step in the right direction.
  • India and Vietnam, are collaborating in oil exploration in the South China Sea (where China has its claims of sovereignty).
  • Similar to China developing ports in the Indian Ocean, India with Indonesia is developing a port called Sabang (near the Strait of Malacca).
  • Recently, the Indian prime minister proposed an “Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative” for the safe, secure and stable maritime domain. It focuses on creating partnerships among interested states in enhancing maritime security, sustainably using marine resources, disaster prevention & management.

Conclusion:

India must leverage the perception shift against Chinese. As USA is aligned with India politically, India’s role can go a long way in ensuring stability to the region, while acting as a counter-weight to China and its global ambitions.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5. To ensure Climate Justice, India has to leverage its green commitment to guarantee carbon and policy space for its developmental goals. Elucidate with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is from the article – Working towards climate justice in a non-ideal world.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in what way to ensure Climate Justice, India has to leverage its green commitment to guarantee carbon and policy space for its developmental goals.

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:

Start with brief background of the World efforts for climate justice.

Body:

Start by explaining what actions have been taken to control greenhouse gas emissions-  all the countries are being told to commit to net-zero (Green House Gas emissions) by 2050. China committed to reaching the target by 2060, but they have been strictly told to be there a decade earlier.

Present the Indian dimension – highlight the efforts, challenges and shortcomings.

Suggest upon the importance of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Climate justice is very important for India. It needs to influence its green and pro-nature commitment to ensure carbon and policy space for its developmental and global aspirations. India’s diplomatic and negotiating efforts must be quickly geared to that end.

Introduction:

Clean air, clean energy and clean power balanced with growth were the priorities for India in its mission to combat climate change. The government had pursued voluntarily set targets with commitment, conviction and followed-up action and had played an active and positive role in tackling the Climate Change.

Climate justice is a term used for framing climate change as an ethical and political issue, rather than one that is purely environmental or physical in nature.

Body:

India’s role in ensuring Climate Justice

  • India is currently setting up voluntary targets in the international forums to commit itself to the mission to combat climate change. It is also playing a major role in climate change mitigation.
  • India’s proactive role in mitigating climate change is due to the domestic compulsion of tackling issues like the need for poverty eradication, food and nutritional security, universalization of health and education, water security, sustainable energy, employment
  • India is of the opinion that the developing countries’ need for inclusive growth, sustainable development, poverty eradication and universal access to energy must be made the fundamental differentiation between them and the developed nations.
  • Currently, the Conventions recognise that the historical emissions of the developed nations as the basis for differentiation between the developed and developing nations.
  • Being a developing nation, India also has come up with many initiatives to make India a carbon neutral economy, especially with schemes such as Mega Solar park, FAME and so on.

Steps taken in this regard:

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): The Action plan covers eight major missions on Solar, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, Green India, Sustainable Agriculture and Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): ISA was jointly launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the then President of France, Francois Hollande in Paris on the side-lines of CoP 21 in 2015. The vision and mission of the alliance is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries that lie completely or partial between the Tropics of Capricorn & Cancer.
  • State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC): State governments have drafted climate strategies aligned with the eight National Missions under the NAPCC. The strategies focus on issues ranging from climate mitigation, energy efficiency, and resource conservation to climate adaptation.
  • FAME Scheme for E-mobility: Union Government in April 2015 launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Smart Cities.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: The scheme provides LPG connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries. The connections are given in the name of women beneficiaries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow dung for cooking food, thus reducing air pollution.
  • UJALA scheme: The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. The usage of LED bulbs will not only result in reducing electricity bills but also help in environment protection.

Conclusion:

The debate of Development versus conservation has been long contemplated. With recent disasters in Uttarakhand, We must realise the perils of climate change. The most affected being the poor and vulnerable, climate justice needs to prevail. Hence India along with other nations, must cooperate to combat climate change.

 

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

6. Need for a dedicated law for National security screening of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) fails to comprehensively address national security concerns. Analyse. (250 words)

 

Why the question:

The article explains that there is no clear law for national security screening of inward FDI in India. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse the need for a dedicated law for National security screening and its concerns pertaining to the national security aspects.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with some relevant data such as – As per some media reports, India may ease restrictions on FDI by Chinese companies. They will be allowed to invest up to 25 percent in a company through an automatic route. Last year India tightened its FDI policy. It was aimed at preventing an opportunistic takeover of Indian firms, hit by COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

  • Firstly explain how India regulates foreign investments?
  • Explain the objectives of FEMA, Shortcoming of FEMA especially the fact that National security is unrelated to FEMA. Therefore, India needs a separate law for national security screening of inward FDI just like many other western countries.
  • Present the different types of legitimate threats from foreign acquisitions.

Conclusion:

Suggest that National security and capital control are separate and independent policy objectives. Separate legislation for national security screening of inward FDI will be prudent.

Introduction:

Last April, India had subjected all Chinese FDI to mandatory government screening. The aim was to curb opportunistic takeovers of Indian companies, a concern fuelled by sharp corrections in equity markets in March 2020. There is a need for a new statute that overcomes the issues with FEMA, when it comes to addressing issues of national security and FDI.

Body:

India’s foreign investment regulations:

  • India regulates foreign investments primarily through FEMA. The preamble to FEMA clearly provides two specific macro-prudential objectives — facilitating external trade and payments; and promoting orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange markets in India.
  • Accordingly, it empowers the central government and the RBI, acting in consultation with each other, to regulate capital account transactions. These regulations determine who can invest through the FDI route, in which sector and how much.
  • It gives powers to the Central Government to regulate the flow of payments to and from a person situated outside the country.
  • All financial transactions concerning foreign securities or exchange cannot be carried out without the approval of FEMA. All transactions must be carried out through “Authorised Persons.”
  • In the general interest of the public, the Government of India can restrict an authorized individual from carrying out foreign exchange deals within the current account.
  • Empowers RBI to place restrictions on transactions from capital Account even if it is carried out via an authorized individual.
  • As per this act, Indians residing in India, have the permission to conduct a foreign exchange, foreign security transactions or the right to hold or own immovable property in a foreign country in case security, property, or currency was acquired, or owned when the individual was based outside of the country, or when they inherit the property from individual staying outside the country.

Concerns with regard to FEMA regulations and national security

  • In practice, however, FEMA regulations have often responded to concerns not strictly related to macro-prudential objectives. One such concern has been national security.
  • While such applications of FEMA may have served their purpose during crises, it is time India emulates its western peers and enacts a statute specifically designed for national security screening of strategic FDI.
  • Need for the law to scrutinise FDI from national security angle that is currently missing.
  • Shortcoming of FEMA underscores the need for India to emulates its western peers and enact a statute specifically designed for national security screening of strategic FDI.

Law to scrutinise FDI from national security angle

  • Unlike FEMA, the envisaged new statute must explicitly lay down legal principles for determining when a foreign acquisition of an Indian company poses genuine national security threats.
  • In this regard, a policy paper published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics shows three types of legitimate threats from foreign acquisitions.
  • Dependency on foreign supplier: The first threat arises if a foreign acquisition renders India dependent on a foreign-controlled supplier of goods or services crucial to the functioning of the Indian economy.
  •  Technology transfer: The second threat emanates from a proposed acquisition transferring a technology or an expertise to a foreign-controlled entity that might be deployed by that entity or a foreign government in a manner harmful to India’s national interests.
  • Threat of infiltration, surveillance or sabotage: The third threat arises if a proposed acquisition allows insertion of some potential capability for infiltration, surveillance or sabotage via human or non-human agents into the provision of goods or services crucial to the functioning of Indian economy.
  • The above stated 3 types of threats could provide conceptual clarity in the new statute could make national security assessments objective, transparent and amenable to the rule of law.
  • On procedure, the statute must empower only the finance minister to reject certain strategic foreign acquisitions on national security grounds.
  • Both the power and accountability mechanisms should be hardcoded into the statute itself, as is the case in some mature parliamentary democracies.

Conclusion:

India’s tryst with Chinese FDI underscores the importance of identifying specific national security threats emanating from strategic FDI and addressing them objectively. This is too sensitive a matter to be left to capital controls under FEMA. A dedicated statute for national security screening of inward FDI would be best suited for handling such issues.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. Discuss the role that Colleges and higher educational institutions can play in imparting values to our society. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article brings to us the important role that colleges must play in bringing values in the society.  

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the role that Colleges and higher educational institutions can play in imparting values to our society

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with definition of values and their general importance in any society.

Body:

The prime concern of education is to evolve the good, the true and the divine in man so as to establish a moral life in the world.

Since education is a powerful instrument of social change and human progress, it is also a powerful tool to cultivate values in an individual. Therefore all the educational institutes have greater responsibility to impart learning and cultivation of values through education.

Discuss impact of such value inculcation on the society.

Give examples to better substantiate your answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

Education is the architecture of the soul. Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” However it is important how it is spread and in what manner. Every Human takes birth as pure heart and pristine spirit/soul. But with time, desire, outside environment, cultural influences, insane practices make human Mephistophelian and eccentric.

Body:

Role of educational institutions in value education:

  • Education in its aims, curriculum and methods is linked with values. It is through education that society seeks to preserve and promote its cherished values.
  • Whatever is learnt and imbibed will determine to how students will live out their lives in future.
  • Educational institutions provide a structured environment where children learn values of cooperation, hard work
  • Punctuality, Commitment, Sincerity, Sharing, Caring, Fairness, Helping, Independence, Responsibility, Humility, Pride need to be inculcated in a child.
  • Lessons of Honesty, Social Justice, Sensitising children with empathy towards vulnerable sections of the society.
  • Teaching Gender Equality, Respect for elders, Truthfulness, Tolerance, Peace, Love for nature & mankind, Positive Attitude, Spirituality, Nationalist feelings, Patriotism, Discipline

Conclusion:

“The aim of education is the knowledge, not facts but of values.” –William Ralph. Schools and colleges must ensure that strong value system is in place right from the childhood through timely ethical education. Value education is the first step for a peaceful and happy society.


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