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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 June 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: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

1.  The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine.(250 words)

Reference:  Mastering World History by Norman Lowe

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I , part World History.

Key Demand of the question:

The question expects us to explain that freedom struggles in several West African countries were also led by such western-educated Africans. It expects us to bring out the role played by leaders in African National movement and the impact of their struggles.

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:

Give a brief introduction to the anti-colonial upsurge in western Africa – Anti-colonial upsurge in West Africa was a part of the larger rush of decolonization after the massive wanton destruction of the World War II.

Body:

Highlight that just as Indian freedom movement, in the 20th century, found a leader in M. K. Gandhi, a western-educated lawyer, freedom struggles in several West African countries were also led by such western-educated Africans

Discuss the role of leaders such as

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, educated in London and US, led Gold Coast to freedom in 1957, and rechristened the country Ghana.

Nnamdi Azikiwe, educated in US, led Nigeria to a successful anti-colonial struggle, leading to its independence in 1960.

Amilcar Cabral, educated in Portugal, led Guinea-Bissau to freedom from Portugal. He was assassinated before the official independence declaration of the country, but served as an inspiration for other revolutionary leaders elsewhere, such as Fidel Castro.

Tovalou Houenou, defended the equality of race, opposed Eurocentricism and founded the Negritude movement, the writings of which gave a fillip to anti-colonial struggles in West Africa.

Leopold Sedar Senghol and Felix Houphouet- Boigny were western educated individuals who respectively led Senegal and Ivory Coast to independence.

Explain the nature of movement led by them – Some of these struggles were peaceful and constitutional while some had the blueprint of non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Some struggles were outright violent revolutions.

Conclusion:

Nations of West Africa, however, have seldom witnessed stability and peace after independence. The countries have been marred by civil wars, brutal dictatorships and military coups.

Introduction

Around the world, the intelligentsia has played an important role in shaping the country’s polity. India too found leadership from Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. B.R Ambedkar, M.K. Gandhi who western educated. Similarly, in West Africa, west educated leaders contributed significantly to the anti-colonial struggle.

Body

The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa as response to European imperialism assumed both violent and non-violent form of resistance and spanned from late 19th century to the mid-20th century. The form of resistance depended upon number of factors- influence of religion, nature of the colony, degree of imperialism etc.

Western educated Africans who led the anti-colonial struggles in West Africa:

  • Kwame Nkrumah, a London and US educated scholar played a pivotal role in achieving independence of Gold Coast (later rechristened as Ghana)
  • Nandi Azikiwae, and western educated liberal was instrumental in the hard struggle for Nigeria’s emancipation.
  • Amilcar Cabral, educated in Portugal, led Guinea-Bissau to freedom from Portugal. He was assassinated before the official independence declaration of the country, but served as an inspiration for other revolutionary leaders elsewhere, such as Fidel Castro.
  • One of the outstanding figures in West Africa colonial struggle was Samouri Toure. He created large Mandinka Empire in West Africa and his struggle is a significant example of pragmatic resistance against French. He manufactured fire arms, relocated his kingdom and engaged in diplomacy with both French and British.
  • Tovalou Houenou, defended the equality of race, opposed Eurocentricism and founded the Negritude movement, the writings of which gave a fillip to anti-colonial struggles in West Africa.
  • T. Jabavu established the press ‘Native Opinion” through which Black South Africans expressed their opinions. The ‘Lagos weakly Record ‘was founded by John Payne Jackson, an American- Liberian journalist who was influential in Lagos, Nigeria in 19th– 20th Century.
  • Leopold Sedar Senghol and Felix Houphouet- Boigny were western educated individuals who respectively led Senegal and Ivory Coast to independence.
  • When these scholars returned to their native countries after their stint abroad they could clearly perceive the injustice meted out to them and their countrymen. Having spent some time in land of where mutual respect, equality, freedom and dignity were enjoyed, they could understand the artificial rules and exploitation under colonial administration in a clear manner.
  • Some of these struggles were peaceful and constitutional while some had the blueprint of non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Some struggles were outright violent revolutions.

Conclusion

Nations of West Africa, however, have seldom witnessed stability and peace after independence. The countries have been marred by civil wars, brutal dictatorships and military coups.

 

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2.  Evaluate the impact of global warming on the coral life system of the world with examples. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article brings to us the dismal picture of the impact of global warming on the coral reef system.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the impact of global warming on the coral life system of the World with examples.

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:

Start with some key facts related to effect of global warming on coral reefs across the world.

Body:

Explain how is coral affected by climate change and global warming? – When conditions such as the temperature change, corals expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, responsible for their color. A spike of 1–2°C in ocean temperatures sustained over several weeks can lead to bleaching, turning corals white. If corals are bleached for prolonged periods, they eventually die.

Give examples to justify your argument.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions and conclude with way forward.

Introduction

A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups. Most reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny water. They occupy less than 0.1% of the world’s ocean area, yet they provide a home for at least 25% of all marine species. Hence they are also known as “rainforests of the ocean”.

The increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities causes global warming or climate change. Global warming has increased substantially over the past couple of decades that have led to warming of oceans. This warming has affected the ocean inhabitants including corals.

Body

Threats faced due to global warming:

  • According to UNESCO, the coral reefs in all 29 reef-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist by the end of this century if we continue to emit greenhouse gases under a business-as-usual scenario.
  • A team of Indian researchers has warned that rising sea temperatures due to climate change could put these wondrous underwater systems under peril. Their study, which analysed data of sea surface temperatures since 1982, has found that three mass bleaching events occurred in 1998, 2010 and 2016, impacting five major Indian coral reef regions — in Andaman, Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Gulf of Mannar and Gulf of Kutch.
  • According to Global coral reef monitoring network, 19% of world corals are already dead. The main cause behind it is Global warming.
  • Between 2014-17, 50% of Great Barrier reef bleached
  • Cyclones responsible for 48% of coral loss in Australia between 1985-2012
  • Marine Heat wave was major cause of bleaching in GBR in 2017
  • Japan’s largest reef Okinawa witnessed death of 75% corals due to bleaching
  • In Maldives, 60% corals suffered bleaching in 2016

Impact of Global warming on Coral Reefs

  • Coral Bleaching: When corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients, they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white.
  • For instance, Great Barrier Reef: Over 2016 and 2017, Great Barrier Reef suffered back-to-back bleaching, leaving half of the shallow water corals dead. One-third of the 3,863 reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef went through a catastrophic die-off.
  • Infectious diseases: rising sea temperatures also causes diseases among coral systems due to rise of bacteria such as viborio shiloi.
  • Algal blooms: Changes in precipitation result in increased runoff of freshwater, sediment, and land-based pollutants contribute to algal blooms and cause murky water conditions that reduce light.
  • Hampers marine ecosystem: Changes in coral ecosystem also affect the species that depend on them, such as the fish and invertebrates that rely on live coral for food, shelter, or recruitment habitat.
  • Solar irradiation: global warming results in changes in local weather patterns. With decreased cloud cover, the sunlight penetrates more into water increasing stress among corals.
  • Ocean Acidification: Due to increased CO2 levels in atmosphere, oceans absorb more CO2. This increases the acidity levels in water and inhibits the corals ability to build calcareous skeletons that are vital for their survival. Ocean acidification, or increased CO2 levels has reduced calcification rates in reef-building and reef associated organisms, causing their skeletons to become weaker and growth to be impaired
  • Rise of nutrients: Increased temperatures raise the activity of photosynthesis resulting in increased amounts of nutrients in water. This promotes population of organisms that compete with corals for growth.
  • Increased instances of Natural disasters: Coral reefs act as key barrier to guard against incoming storms and mitigate the damage done by surging seas. Global warming is associated with increases frequency of natural disasters. And this threatens the survival of corals.
  • Affects food chain: It is also expected that there will be a gradual decrease in the quantity of marine plants such as phytoplankton in warmer waters, effectively reducing the amount of nutrients available to animals further along the food chain.
  • Loss of livelihoods: Countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines would bear the brunt of the damage, as it will reduce the fish stock rapidly.
  • Economic Impact: Both fishing and tourism will be hit hard. Many communities in Queensland had to look for alternate livelihoods due to coral bleaching and loss of ocean ecosystem.

Way forward

  • Limiting global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, provides the only chance for the survival of coral reefs globally.
  • Other measures alone, such as addressing local pollution and destructive fishing practices, cannot save coral reefs without stabilised greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reinforcing commitments to the Paris Agreement must be mirrored in all other global agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals. l.
  • Economic systems need to rapidly move to the low greenhouse gas emission scenario to enable global temperature decrease.
  • A move away from current economic thinking should include the benefits provided by coral reefs, which are currently not taken into account in mainstream business and finance.
  • Therefore, sustaining and restoring coral reefs should be treated as an asset, and long-term investments should be made for their preservation.
  • Investments should also include support for research at the frontiers of biology, such as genetic selection of heat-resistant corals that can withstand rising global temperatures.

Conclusion:

There also needs to be a transformation of mainstream economic systems and a move towards circular economic practices. These are highlighted in SDG 8 (inclusive and sustainable economic growth) and SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production patterns).

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. Examine how soft infrastructure catalyzes India’s development. Also suggest some policy reforms for equitable access to digital technologies. (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The article explains in what way soft infrastructure, and a tablet for all, can catalyze India’s development.             

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the possible role that soft infrastructure can play in catalyzing India’s development and suggest some policy measures for equitable access to digital technologies.

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:

Start with what you understand by Soft power.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

First account for how suddenly the entire world switched to digital form of living amidst the pandemic situation.

Discuss the importance and utility of soft infrastructure.

Addressing the digital divide, providing equal access to education, ensuring seamless health care delivery, water management, and unclogging the justice system should be prioritized in the next phase of reforms.

Suggest policy measures to encourage it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Soft infrastructure refers to all the institutions that help maintain a healthy economy. These usually require extensive human capital and are service-oriented toward the population. Soft infrastructure includes all educational, health, financial, law and order, governmental systems (such as social security), and other institutions that are considered crucial to the well-being of an economy.

Body

Importance of Soft infrastructure for India’s development:

  • Like software, soft infrastructure provides the basis on which hard infrastructure operates and develops.
  • Building bridges, highways, airports, and power plants will not suffice to foster development without good governance, rule of law, and pro-business policies.
  • Soft infrastructure is crucial to making these projects profitable.
  • Therefore, to achieve a healthy, functioning, steadily growing economy, India must invest in important components of soft infrastructure like rule of law and effective tax regimes, as well as promote private-sector competition and public-private partnerships.
  • In India, the pillars of ‘soft’ infrastructure – good governance, effective tax regimes, private sector competition, Public-Private Partnership, and foreign investment inflows – are strengthening.
  • India boasts of a strategic location relative to important markets (East Asia, Central Asia, WANA, Russia, Europe), young and growing populations, significant human capital, a wealth of natural resources, and enjoy relative peace and stability.
  • The long-term success of India will be contingent on their willingness and ability to provide leadership and to embrace and implement the necessary reforms.

Soft infra reforms in India so far:

  • in the last 30 years, governments have introduced reforms in the areas of direct taxation, telecom, labour, banking and capital markets; expanded infrastructure (roads, airports and ports); increased foreign ownership limits in controlled sectors; attempted privatisation of State-owned and conceptualised and rolled-out Aadhaar.
  • Currently, some noteworthy measures include the Goods and Services Tax, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code, agricultural reforms and sanitation and hygiene.
  • JAM trinity which has helped the true beneficiaries reap the benefit of public service delivery by weeding out inefficiencies and corruption.

Policy reforms for equitable access to digital technologies:

  • Address the digital apartheid. The government must ensure a “smart device for life” to all Indians, with adequate bandwidth and data. The equivalent of a mini iPad as a passport to equal opportunity with connectivity, providing access to education, health, training, upskilling and financial inclusion. This is the first requirement for aatmanirbharta.
  • Ensure equal access in education. Virtual schooling in the pandemic has demonstrated the possibility for a much fairer future for our children. Using digital in education via the smart mini device should be the weapon and all public schools should be taught by the same teachers (by language), and their current teachers should become class monitors to ensure attendance and good behaviour.
  • Revolutionise health care. The same device should provide access to health centres. All health records in India need to be digitised and centrally stored. We can address privacy issues and recreate our health care delivery in India from “absent” to “personalised”.
  • Use water wisely. Managing the environment is a complex subject and India is both a victim and a perpetrator. Yet mispricing (or free) power and water has led to perversions in agriculture and lowered the water table to unforgivable levels. Exporting water-guzzling rice and sugar is like exporting food during a famine.
  • Speed up justice. At its core, this means that our courts must work faster, and jails should house criminals and not those who are undertrials. It is unjust for 60% of the inmates of jails to be undertrials.

Conclusion

If India chooses to invest in the development of the soft infrastructure – improving governance, boosting the rule of law, enhancing transparency, developing legislative and regulatory institutions, and levelling the playing field for market competition – will be far more prepared to attract investment and achieve growth and integration into the global economy. To make India future-ready and to provide equal opportunity to its citizens, India must adopt technology fully in the next phase.

Thus, Soft infrastructure can help India shift its economy toward consumption, services, and environmentally friendly growth, and manage the challenges of a constantly changing world.

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

4.  How far do you agree with the view that engaging with the Taliban is vital for India’s approach towards Afghanistan. Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The article discusses the importance of engagement of India with Taliban to tackle the issues in Afghanistan.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the importance of the view that engaging with the Taliban is vital for India’s approach towards Afghanistan.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief background of the context of the question.

Body:

Before unpacking the costs and benefits of engaging with the Taliban, it is worth reiterating the central driver of India’s Afghanistan policy i.e., to ensure a strategic balance between Kabul and Islamabad.

The asymmetry of power between these countries notwithstanding, India wants to ensure that nationalist Afghan opinion — critical of Pakistan’s interventionism — remains alive and assertive.

This is why New Delhi persisted with its advocacy of an “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led” reconciliation process. Talking to the Taliban, then, is as much an exercise in preventing harm to India’s interests, as to gauge the depth and breadth of the group’s nationalism.

Conclusion:

Conclude with fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction

India’s Afghan policy is driven by many extraneous factors such as its geographical constraints, its search for a transit route to Central Asia through Afghanistan and Iran, its troubled relationship with Pakistan and the growing threat of terrorism in India and Afghanistan and the recent coming of Trump’s policy.

India’s “quiet visit” to meet with the Taliban in Doha, confirmed by Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, Qatar’s special envoy for counterterrorism and conflict resolution, marks a significant shift in India’s approach towards Afghanistan.

Body:

India’s traditional position with Taliban:

  • For decades, New Delhi refused to engage with the Taliban.
  • India was among the countries that had refused to recognise the Taliban regime of 1996-2001.
  • India watched Taliban’s growth with concern, assessing early that it was being driven by Pakistan’s army and the ISI.
  • The group’s dependence on Pakistan, its religious extremism, and support for transnational jihadists, including Kashmir-centric outfits, are the core reasons for India remaining distant.
  • The Kandahar hijack of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 forced India to negotiate.
  • At other times, it supported anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
  • Throughout the 1990s, India gave military and financial assistance to the Northern Alliance fighting the Pakistan-sponsored Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
  • Meanwhile the 9/11 attacks and the US crackdown leading to the fall of the Taliban regime took place.
  • When the Taliban re-emerged in 2006-07 to once again challenge US forces, India maintained it was not going to talk with the Taliban.

India should engage with the Taliban as there are a host of concerns:

  • USA’s diminishing role:
    • A period of adjustment has become essential following former US President’s unilateral announcement that US is pulling its troops out of the conflict-ridden country.
    • Another development was the “framework” deal between the US and Afghan Taliban after six days of discussions at Doha.
    • The Afghan war has already become the longest war in US history. With the passage of time, the conflict has not only become more intense – it has also become more complicated
  • Control of Afghan government:
    • The Afghan government controls barely half the country, with one-sixth under Taliban control and the rest contested.
    • Most significant is the ongoing depletion in the Afghan security forces because of casualties, desertions and a growing reluctance to join
    • Afghanistan launched the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation and also made an unconditional dialogue offer to the Taliban. The Taliban rejected his overture, declaring that they were ready to engage in direct talks only with the Americans.
    • Further, India’s outreach to the Taliban could expedite Kabul’s fall, and complicate India’s relations with existing allies.
  • Increasing Taliban attacks:
    • Recently there has been a spike in violence, with the Taliban carrying out a set of coordinated assaults around Afghanistan, rejecting an offer of a three-month ceasefire by President of Afghanistan and laying siege to Ghazni city.
    • The violence this year has also put 2018 on course to be the deadliest year for Afghan civilians, with an average of nine people killed every day, according to UN data.
  • Pakistan factor:
    • The major challenge is the cooperation of regional players. Peace in Afghanistan and the wider region can only be achieved through a multilateral mechanism involving the US as well as major regional players, including Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China, India and Saudi Arabia.
    • Despite six months of concerted American punitive actions on Islamabad, the Pakistan establishment is not shutting down support for Taliban fighters.
    • The role of Pakistan is going to expand significantly, with the US depending upon it to implement the interim deal. This will be a diplomatic victory for Pakistan.
  • Iran factor:
    • US administration’s collision course with Iran is another hurdle to realising its South Asia policy. Iran is a neighbour to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and any action against Tehran will have consequences on the region.
    • US is also against Iran which is important to give access to the sea to landlocked Afghanistan through Chabahar port- which is in India’s interests etc.
  • Indian interests would be hurt:
  • There is no guarantee that it will prevent the use of Afghan soil by anti-India militants, but it has certainly expressed unwillingness to support such elements.
  • Careful about not being caught between an India-Pakistan crossfire, the Taliban wants to distance itself from the Kashmir imbroglio.
  • The outreach in Doha, then, has instilled cautious optimism among Indian officials that the Taliban may not openly hostile, and may even seek stronger ties in the medium-term.

Why India should engage with Taliban?

  • The Taliban acknowledges India’s constructive role in Afghanistan, and would not want a reduction in its diplomatic presence.
  • India’s absence in the Taliban’s calculus would make it even more expendable if the Islamic republic collapses.
  • India’s support for Kabul and consolidation of relations with powerbrokers such as Marshall Dostum, Muhammad Mohaqiq, Ustad Atta, Ahmad Massoud, Ismail Khan, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Hamid Karzai and others, reduces the risk of dislocating its relationship with existing allies.
  • If India seeks a politically inclusive Afghanistan and builds relations with all ethnic communities, then its outreach to the Taliban requires openness.
  • India’s outreach to the Taliban might complicate Pakistan’s relations with the Taliban once the latter comes to power and faces the pressures of governance and administration.

Way forward:

  • The U.S.’s eventual pullout as Afghanistan’s peacekeeper is inevitable, close bilateral consultations should be made to help Afghanistan according to its own needs.
  • India has always supported for Afghanistan’s democracy. Use of her ‘soft power’ – ranging from telecommunications to education, community development programmes can be pushed forward.
  • India’s best course with Afghanistan remains its own regional strategy, not becoming a part of any other country’s strategy.
  • India must seek to build capacities and capabilities of Afghan nationals and its institutions for governance and delivery of public service, develop socio-economic infrastructure, secure lives and promote livelihood.
  • Inactive SAARC must now be revived to strengthen the regional co-operation in South Asia.
  • Tier-II diplomacy and involving other stakeholders: India, which has been against holding talks with the Taliban for a long time, finally sent two retired diplomats, at the ‘non-official level’, to join them at the Moscow peace talks.
  • India’s participation, however, is crucial, even though it is at a non-official level.
  • Continuing the efforts of implementing mega infrastructure projects, providing military equipments and training to Afghan personnel on the sidelines.
  • Use of regional groupings like SCO to combat the terrorism emanating from Afghanistan.
  • Echoing the Afghan stand, India has been asserting that the peace process must be “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

Conclusion:

Defeatism or a lack of ambition for the India-Afghanistan relationship at this juncture would be much more detrimental to India’s interests than anything the Taliban’s return to Afghanistan’s political centre-stage can do.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Highlight the major downsides of India’s nationalized banks and deliberate upon methods to improve efficiency and accountability. (250 words)

Reference:  Business Standard

Why the question:

The Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) transfer of seized assets of the three fugitive businessmen- Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi to the affected public sector banks. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Bring out the major short comings of India’s nationalized banks and suggest methods to improve efficiency and accountability.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with a brief account of India’s nationalized banks.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

The answer must capture the major drawbacks of the India’s nationalized banks.

Discuss in detail the issues associated.

Suggest methods that can help improve efficiency and develop accountability.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

50 years ago, the Indian financial sector underwent a tectonic shift, when Indira Gandhi government nationalized the 14 biggest commercial banks in 1969. Nationalisation of banks is arguably the biggest structural reform introduced in the financial sector during the post-independence era of Indian history.

Body

Benefits of nationalization

  • After the nationalization of banks, the branches of the public sector bank India rose to approximately 800% in deposits and advances took a huge jump by 11,000%.
  • Banking under government ownership gave the public implicit faith and immense confidence about the sustainability of the banks.
  • Banks were no longer confined to only metropolitan or cosmopolitan in India. In fact, the Indian banking system has reached even to the remote corners of the country.
  • This is one of the main reasons for India’s growth process, particularly in the Green revolution.
  • Purpose of nationalization is to promote rapid growth in agriculture, small industries and export, to encourage new entrepreneurs and to develop all backward areas.
  • Public deposits in the bank have increased so much that leaving it completely to the private sector might pose a challenge.
  • Banks, by advancing loans to the speculators and non-priority sector, have created havoc in the economy.

Balance of payment crisis 1991 started an era of liberalization, privatization and globalisation. However, the political control of bank lending continued even after the 1991 reforms which today had culminated into the bad loan or Non-Performing Assets crisis that has slowed down India’s growth trajectory.

Was the nationalization of banks a right move?

  • NPA crisis since 2012 is at least partly explained by the credit bubble that grew under political patronage that emerged out of government’s control over Banks.
  • Nationalization of banks led to an interest rate structure that was incredibly complex.
  • There were different rates of interest for different types of loans. The Indian central bank eventually ended up managing hundreds of interest rates.
  • This defeated the purpose of nationalization, as due to complex structure loans never reach the needy ones.
  • Banking is a highly competitive enterprise which works on profits, nationalization of banks has led to lesser competition between the public sector and private sectors banks.
  • This has created a bureaucratic attitude in the functioning of the banking system.
  • Lack of responsibility and initiative, red-tapism, inordinate delays are common features of nationalized banks.
  • Although liberal credit policy is necessary for providing financial support to the weaker sections of the rural community, such a policy may prove harmful for the stability of the banking system.
  • The experience of the nationalized banks has shown that these banks are now facing the problems of heavy overdue loans and economically unviable branches.
  • Extending loans to agriculture and small scale industries is risky and less remunerative. Such loans are against the sound banking rules and may weaken the economic viability of these institutions.
  • Due to lack of performance audit of banks, policy-making failed to ensure that the finance from the public institutions are, in fact, going to productive uses in the large public interest.
  • Inefficiency: Due to the nationalisation of banks, there was a bureaucratic attitude in the banking sector. There was no responsibility, accountability or incentive for it to progress within the public sector banks. Unwarranted delays were the new norm within these banks.
  • Long-term risks: Though liberal credit is necessary for the development of rural India, it had also created harmful effects on the stability of the banking sector. The nationalised banks are now facing the problems of overdue loans and the establishment of economically unviable branches.

Way forward

  • It is evident that the nationalisation of banks has provided both the negative and positive impacts in the Indian banking sector and economy.
  • The 50thanniversary of the nationalisation of banks can be a good occasion to systematically analyse the current performance of the PSBs and the necessary steps can be taken to improve the banking sector.
  • There are some obvious negative consequences that should be looked into for the future growth of India’s banking system.
  • Thus, it may be prudent now to look into the recommendations of the Narasimham Committee on the banking sector reforms.
  • Bringing down the government equity to 33% will give the banks the much-needed autonomy to improve their performance and growth.
  • It will also improve banks’ capital growth and competitiveness in the market.
  • It would prove to be more practical if the systemic faults are corrected instead of focusing on only the financial inclusion.
  • Even a merger may prove to be counterproductive in this situation if the existing faults are not taken into account.

Conclusion

Given the significance of a vibrant banking system in the growth story of the nation, privatisation of banks is proposed. However, privatisation of banks is not a panacea. India must not make haste in going for the privatisation of banks, rather it must focus on comprehensive governance reforms, resolution of NPAs and creating a free market so that investment can be reinvigorated and wheels of the economy can again get back on track.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6. “Apologies by countries for past mistakes can recover bilateral ties and help people reconcile with the past” Explain with examples. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of International Ethics.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the significance of values of apology and forgiveness in International ethics with examples.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with importance of apology as a key value in general.

Body:

Start by expressing the recent incidences of apologies by the countries around the world such as – In May, Germany officially apologized to Namibia for the massacre of the Herero and Nama people in 1904-1908 and called it genocide for the first time. Around the same time, French President Emmanuel Macron said in Rwanda that he recognized his country’s role in the Rwandan genocide and hoped for forgiveness.

Explain the positive effects of apology in International relations. Apart from strengthening the relations between the countries involved, apologies by leaders help people reconcile with the past and countries and communities take lessons from history and avoid similar tragedies. Most importantly, they provide some solace to the victims’ descendants; they give them a sense of justice and rectitude.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of it.

Introduction

Apology is a regretful acknowledgement of offences or wrongs done & forgiveness is an action of excusing someone or stop feeling resentful towards someone who has done wrong.

Importance of the act of apologising and forgiveness becomes evident from level of an individual to global level.

Body

In today’s world of nuclear muscles everything can be ruined in minute time frame but if we apologise and forgive, we can make world a better place to live, it is significant for global peace.

  • Canada apologising for Komagata Maru incident: This is certainly going to improve relations between these two countries as well as two different races.
  • Obama Apologising for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombing during the 2nd World War
  • Many leaders from the United Kingdom (UK) tip-toed around giving a formal apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in the past few years.
  • When ex-PM Manmohan Singh apologised for 1984 Sikh riots, it gave a moral clarity on India’s long march of religious harmony and healing touch to Sikh community.

Forgiveness & apologies are not going to change past but certainly it will improve future.

Apology does not mean you are always wrong, at times apology on behalf plays a great role in healing relation and situations.

Conclusion

We must learn to apologise and forgive. These takes a few moments of our life and gives us back immense peace and a relation free of grudge. This is applicable for self too, it is truly said “you will begin to heal, when you let go of past hurts, forgive those who have wronged you and learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes”.

 

Topic: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. Probity is an indispensible condition of good governance. Explain with suitable illustrations. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is pertaining to the concept of Probity and its importance to Good Governance.  

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the significance of Probity and its indispensability to Good governance.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the definition of Probity first.

Body:

Probity is the quality of adhering to strong moral principles such as honesty and integrity as well as uprightness, good character and decency. It is the act of following the highest principles and ideals rather than merely avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It balances service to the community against the self-interest of individuals.

Discuss the importance of Probity to Good governance.

Governance is the act and manner of managing public office. A working paper of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution noted that probity in governance is an essential and vital requirement for an efficient and effective system of governance and for socioeconomic development.

Illustrate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Probity is “the quality or condition of having strong moral principles, integrity, good character, honesty, decency”. It is the act of adhering to the highest principles and ideals rather than avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It balances service to the community against the self-interest of individuals.

Body

Concept of Probity

  • Probity is confirmed integrity. It is usually regarded as being incorruptible.
  • It is the quality of having strong moral principles and strictly following them, such as honesty, uprightness, transparency and incorruptibility.
  • Probity in Governance is concerned with the propriety and character of various organs of the government as to whether these uphold the procedural uprightness, regardless of the individuals manning these institutions.
  • It involves adopting an ethical and transparent approach, allowing the process to withstand scrutiny.
  • Probity goes further than the avoidance of being dishonest because it is determined by intangibles like personal and societal values.
  • Probity has been described as a risk management approach ensuring procedural integrity.
  • It is concerned with procedures, processes and systems rather than outcomes. The principles of probity, ethics and good governance operate on many levels – from, the individual, to the organization and on to the ‘watch-dog’.

Probity principles

There are several generally accepted probity concepts that serve to preserve the integrity of a system. These are:

  • Transparency:It is sizeable that the procedure is transparent to the most volume feasible so that each one stakeholder can have faith within the consequences. Transparent, open techniques additionally decline the possibility for, and the threat of, corruption, and fraud.
  • Accountability: Itis the responsibility with a view to give an explanation for or account for the manner duties were achieved. The government has to have appropriate mechanisms in the area to expose that they may be liable for their practices and decisions.
  • Confidentiality: Being employed, all public servants or other employees under a general responsibility of confidentiality to their corporation. Accordingly, it is not vital for participants of the Government Project Team who are public servants to execute a confidentiality project in terms of the mission. Moreover, all Government advisors, servants, members and some other third party that is aware of commercially sensitive statistics ought to ensure a proper venture to Government that they’ll preserve this information confidential.
  • Conflict of interest:This is wherein the general public responsibility and private interests of a Board or staff member can be in conflict which results in their personal interest unreliably influencing their duties and needs. Stakeholders have the authority to count on that Board and staff contributors will best make selections in the best interest of the organization.
  • Impartiality:People and companies interacting with an employer are predicted to be independent at every level of the method. If they do no longer trust the process is accurate or fair or unbiased, it may harm the popularity of the enterprise.

Relevance to Good governance:

In a democracy, probity espouses the principles of equality before law and a respect for the rights and duties of leaders towards their citizens. Conversely, probity is a societal expectation which citizens demand from decision makers and all those who function as a part of the state’s apparatus

  • Legitimacy of the system:Foremost, it helps build up the legitimacy of the system, i.e. the state. It builds trusts in the institutions of the state and a belief that the actions of the state will be for welfare of the beneficiaries.
  • Objectivity: It provides for an objective and independent view on the fairness of the process.
  • Checks and balances: It helps in checking the abuse and misuse of power by various organs of government such as magistracy, police and all other providers of public service e.g. PWD, health, education, etc.
  • Equitable and sustainable development: It is an essential and vital requirement for an efficient and effective system of governance and for socio-economic development.
  • To serve the constitutional cause:Probity in Governance is required to serve the motto of Constitution. i.e. to provide Social, Political and economic justice to all. It enhances faith in the governance.
  • Reduced politicization of bureaucracy:It helps address nepotism, Favouritism, Political partisanship. Public reposes more trust in governance and therefore it facilitates participatory governance. It leads to avoidance of sub-optimal outcomes, corruption and poor perception

Conclusion

It is a shared belief that the adoption of standards like “accountability”, “transparency” and “responsiveness” will lead to clean and efficient governance. However, standards do not, by themselves, ensure ethical behaviour: which requires a robust culture of integrity and probity in public life. The crux of ethical behaviour does not lie only in standards, but in their adoption in action and in issuing sanctions against their violation.


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