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[Mission 2022] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 August 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: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. Bhagat Singh and his comrades redefined the scope and meaning of Revolution. Revolution was no longer equated with mere militancy or violence. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Chapter-20: India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 as mentioned in Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how the scope and nature of revolution evolved under Bhagat Singh and his comrades.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give a brief about the ideology of Bhagat Singh and his associates.

Body:

Mention how their ideology evolved. From the belief in violence and heroic action towards national liberation and then the building of a new socialist society.

Mention the features of the new revolution they believed in. Preventing exploitation of all forms, Freedom, justice, ending communalism, scientific temper etc.

Conclusion:

Write about how these were ideals were incorporated in our constitution.

Introduction

Bhagat Singh, an iconic revolutionary, thinker, voracious reader and one of the well-read of political leaders at that time, was a giant of an intellectual. He pursued his passion for reading and writing relentlessly, despite fighting violently against Britishers. He studied to arm himself with arguments in favour of his cult of patriotism and enabled himself to face the arguments advanced by opposition.

Body:

A new idea and interpretation of revolution:

  • Revolution was no longer equated with militancy and violence.
  • Its objective was to be national liberation—imperialism was to be overthrown but beyond that a new socialist order was to be achieved, ending “exploitation of man by man”.
  • As Bhagat Singh said in the court, “Revolution does not necessarily involve sanguinary strife, nor is there a place in it for personal vendetta. It is not the cult of bomb and pistol. By revolution we mean the present order of things, which is based on manifest injustice, must change.”
  • Bhagat fully accepted Marxism and the class approach to society—”Peasants have to free themselves not only from the foreign yoke, but also from the yoke of landlords and capitalists.”
  • He also said, “The struggle in India will continue, so long as a handful of exploiters continue to exploit labour of common people to further their own interests.
  • It matters little whether these exploiters are British capitalists, British and Indian capitalists in alliance, or even purely Indians.”
  • He defined socialism scientifically as abolition of capitalism and class domination.
  • Bhagat was fully and consciously secular—two of the six rules drafted by Bhagat for the Punjab Naujawan Bharat Sabha were that its members would have nothing to do with communal bodies and that they would propagate a general feeling of tolerance among people, considering religion to be a matter of personal belief.
  • Bhagat Singh also saw the importance of freeing people from the mental bondage of religion and superstition—”to be a revolutionary, one required immense moral strength, but one also required criticism and independent thinking”

Conclusion:

Bhagat Singh and his comrades  made an abiding contribution to the national freedom movement. Their deep patriotism, courage and determination, and sense of sacrifice stirred the Indian people. They helped spread nationalist consciousness in the land.

Value addition:

Vision of Bhagat Singh:

At tender age he realised the larger goals of life rather than being circumscribed to accomplishing personal goals. He transformed the revolution ‘terrorism’ movement to a socialist one. He was a great innovator in two areas of politics

  • Raised the serious issues and threats of communalism
  • Raised the conscience of people in freeing them from mental bondage of religion and superstition.

Revolutionary ideology and goals of revolution:

  • A real breakthrough was made by Bhagat Singh and his comrades in terms of revolutionary ideology, forms of revolutionary struggle and the goals of revolution.
  • The Hindustan republican association’s (HRA) Manifesto (1925) declared that the it stood for abolition of all systems which made exploitation of man by man possible. Its founding council had decided to preach social revolutionary and communistic principles.
  • The HRA had also decided to start labour and peasant organizations and to work for an organized and armed revolution.
  • Emphasizing the role of ideas in the making of  revolution, Bhagat Singh declared that the sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting-stone of ideasThis atmosphere of wide reading and deep thinking pervaded the ranks of the HSRA leadership. 
  • Punjab Naujawan Bharat Sabha:
    • Singh had turned to Marxism and had come to believe that popular broad-based mass movements alone could lead to a successful revolution.
    • That is why Bhagat Singh helped  establish the Punjab Naujawan Bharat Sabha in 1926 as the open wing of the revolutionaries. 
    • The Sabha was to carry out open political work among the youth, peasants and workers. 
  • Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev also organized the Lahore Students Union for open, legal work  among the students
  • Patient intellectual and political work appealed to be too slow and too akin to the Congress style of politics which the revolutionaries wanted to transcend. 
  • Effective acquisition of new ideology is a prolonged and historical process whereas the need of the time was a quick change in the way of thinking.
  • These young intellectuals faced the classic dilemma of how to mobilise people and recruit them. Here, they decided to opt for propaganda by deed, i.e., through individual heroic action and by using courts as a forum for revolutionary propaganda.

Bhagat Singh: a hero of the masses:

  • He was revered by the youth, loathed by British Raj and opposed by none other than Mahatma Gandhi, like other revolutionaries he dreamt of freedom for motherland.
  • As much as he was involved in violence against the government, he exercised his conscience and used non-violence and fasting as a tool to break the hegemony of British power.
  • He always vouched for human dignity and rights beyond sectarian divide.

 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. Despite the fact that the Indian National Congress remained in the forefront, we cannot ignore the immense contributions made by the Indian revolutionaries. Analyse the reasons for the decline revolutionary nationalist movement. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Chapter 13 & 17 – A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum Publishers)

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 as mentioned in Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

to enumerate contributions of revolutionary nationalists and analyse the reasons for the decline of revolutionary strand of national movement.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by writing about revolutionary national movement and its nature of struggle. Mention important organizations and revolutionaries.

Body:

Outline the major contributions of the revolutionary nationalists – spreading patriotism, creating fear in the minds of British, making them grant concessions, uniting the people of India, inspiring the youth.

In the next part, write the reasons for the decline of national movement – repression of the government, death/imprisonment of leaders, shift to popular struggle, joining mainstream political movement.

Conclusion:

Summarize that though the acts of individual heroism reduced but the revolutionary zeal remained and it manifested in Gandhian movements and Indian National Army of Bose.

Introduction

The emergence of revolutionary ideology in India during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was the result of several internal and external influences working on the minds of the youth. Early phase of revolutionary movement in India was in Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, U.P., Orissa, Bihar and Madras provinces, but it predominantly operated in Bengal, Maharashtra and Punjab as these regions were more politically active than other parts of the country.

Body

The immense contributions made by the Indian revolutionaries:

  • The Revolutionaries ignited the national cause and carried the message of nationalism in the country and outside the country.
  • Their deep patriotism, courage and determination, and sense of sacrifice stirred the Indian people.
  • They helped spread nationalist consciousness in the land; and in northern India the spread of socialist consciousness owed a lot to them.
  • The era of revolutionary terrorism began and very soon secret societies of the revolutionaries came up all over the country.
    • For instance, the Anusilan Samiti, the most famous and long lasting secret society, with its headquarters at Calcutta created revolutionary centres all over India. Their activities took two forms- the assassination of oppressive officials, traitors and informers, and dacoities to raise funds for the purchase of arms, etc.
  • It had its impact on the Congress strategy to involve the youths in the short term programme of rural reconstruction.
  • Revolutionaries like Ras Behari Bose, Chander Shekhar Azad, Lala Hardyal M.A., Madan Lal Dhingra and S. Ajit Singh succeeded in expanding the Indian independence movement to other countries as well.

Decline of Revolutionaries post 1930’s:

Despite gaining popularity and a dedicated following, both the terrorist and the revolutionary movements could not achieve their objectives of freeing India from the British. This was because

  • Government actions:
    • Government action gradually decimated the revolutionary terrorist ranks.
    • With the death of Chandrashekhar Azad in a shooting encounter a public park at Allahabad in February 1931, the revolutionary terrorist movement virtually came to an end in Punjab, U.P. and Bihar.
    • Surya Sen’s martyrdom marked an end to the prolonged saga of revolutionary terrorism in Bengal’
  • Ideological realignment:
    • A process of rethinking in jails and in the Andamans began large number of the revolutionaries turned to Marxism and the idea of a socialist revolution by the masses.
    • They joined the Communist Party, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and other Left parties.
    • Many others joined the Gandhian wing of the Congress.
  • Lack of connect to the masses:
    • The politics of the revolutionary terrorists had severe limitations and was not the politics of a mass movement.
    • They failed to politically activate the masses or move them into political actions.
    • They could not even establish contact with the masses.
    • These movements appealed to the youngsters who had faced the hostilities of the British rule, but the mass following in the rural belt was unavailable;
  • No strong authority:
    • There was no central, all-India level organization which could control the activities in an organised manner;
  • Failure of support:
    • Germany, which promised arms and funds to be used against Britain could not deliver;
    • The US entry and its subsequent dominance in the world war demoralised Germany and the allies to be of help to the Indian cause;
  • Government reforms of 1919:
    • Montagu’s package of self-governance for the Indians took the fizz out of the revolutionary activists;
  • Lack of support and coherence within Congress:
    • The congress party and other upper middle class politicians and leaders always disapproved of the ways of these movements; and
  • Inception of Gandhian Phase:
    • Gandhi’s entry into the political scene of India marked a revolution in the form of satyagraha, which contributed to the decline of the revolutionary and terrorist activities.

Conclusion

Although the revolutionaries had failed to attain set objectives of attaining independence through armed revolt, they were successful in arousing people and remove the fear of authority from their minds and strike terror in the heart of the rulers

 

 


General Studies – 2


  

Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

3. The first-past-the-post (FPTP) system is neither truly democratic nor truly representative. Time has come to introspect and re-examine it. Critically comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

India’s parliamentary democracy is going through a phase of intense confrontation between the dominant ruling party and a weakened but belligerent Opposition and it is a consequence of the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the limitation of the FPTP system and suggest alternatives.

Directive word:

Critically comment – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘comment’ is prefixed, we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In the introduction, write why India’s needs electoral reforms.

Body:

Write about the FPTP system, its merits and demerits. Argue as to why FPTP is considered not truly democratic and inclusive. Back up your arguments with relevant stats and data.

Next, write about the alternatives such as Proportional Representation and German Model etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by commenting on the path India should adopt going forward.

Introduction

The first-past-the-post (FPTP) system is also known as the simple majority system. In this voting method, the candidate with the highest number of votes in a constituency is declared the winner. This system is used in India in direct elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies. Article 81 of the constitution stipulates for FPTP.

Body

FPTP is not truly democratic:

  • A democratic decision in order to be considered legitimate must include all those affected by it in the decision-making process.
    • The FPTP system clearly violates this as minorities are not even accorded representation, forget about participation in the decision making process.
    • An electoral system skewed in favour of a majority is not conducive to a heterogeneous India, particularly when the Indian constitution also does not have political safeguards for religious minorities.
  • Results in Two Party system: Duverger, a French political scientist, argued that the FPTP system tends to bring about a two-party system at the constituency level.
    • In countries like India, this translated into the establishment of a two-party system at the State level which happened between 1967 and 1989.

FPTP is not truly representative:

  • FPTP has completely failed to ensure representation to the minorities commensurate with their demographic share. For instance, Muslims, the largest religious minority in India, have dismal representation in both the present Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies.
    • It may exclude minority partiesfrom representation in Parliament or Councils if they don’t have concentration areas where their candidates can win. Lesser women MPs, MLAs as they don’t have area of concentration.
  • In the FPTP system, there is absolutely no link between the vote share obtained by the political parties and the concomitant number of seats secured.
    • For instance, in the 2014 general elections in India, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) had 31% of the vote share but this translated into almost 52% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha. A 19% vote share for the Congress, however, meant only 8% of the seats.
  • FPTP mostly manufactures majorities by exaggerating the share of seats of the leading party while it simultaneously penalises smaller parties, particularly those whose support is spatially dispersed.

Need to reexamine the FPTP system in India:

  • Democracy, in order to be legitimate, has to be inclusive and this cannot be sacrificed at the altar of stability and simplicity.
    • In India itself, there is a fast-growing recognition that the FPTP system may not completely fulfil the goal of representative democracy.
  • The Law Commission in its 170th report, submitted in 1999, recommended that India may combine the FPTP system with PR, modelled on the lines of the hybrid system followed in Germany.
    • To that end, the report suggested an increase in the Lok Sabha seats by an additional 25% which could be filled by PR while the FPTP system would continue to be used as earlier for the existing seats.
  • This proposal was reiterated by the Law Commission in its 255th report issued in 2015 though the government is yet to examine its proposals and take the next steps.
    • After the state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh once again produced skewed results in favour of the leading party, an all-party parliamentary panel has started looking at alternatives to FPTP.
  • Even internationally, there is growing disenchantment with FPTP and many democracies including UK and Canada, are embracing PR.
    • In fact, one of India’s closest neighbours, Nepal, has chosen a hybrid electoral system combining FPTP with PR.
  • However, it would be wrong to assume that a PR system or a hybrid system for that matter would be a panacea for all problems facing Indian democracy.
    • After all, even the PR system would eventually lead to majoritarian decision-making, albeit all shades of opinion will at least be represented.
  • India must consider Ambedkar’s sagacious suggestion that minorities must have representation in the cabinet in proportion to their population.
    • This suggestion was put forward by Ambedkar in ‘States and Minorities’, a memorandum on the safeguards for minorities in general and the Scheduled Castes in particular drafted by Ambedkar and submitted to the constituent assembly in 1946.
    • It was in the form of draft articles of a constitution and had specific provisions on fundamental rights of citizens, safeguards of the rights of minorities and Scheduled Castes to representation in the legislatures, local bodies, executive and services.

Conclusion

Thus, the election process and system should safeguard the following principles: more representation, transparency, verifiability, fairness, eligibility to vote, free, secret and universal suffrage, and accessibility. There is no one objectively “best” system. The need of the hour is to debate, discuss, to evolve more suitable election system for India with changing times and demography.

Value addition:

Working of FPTP:

  • It is the simplest form of plurality/majority system, using single member districts and candidate-centred voting.
  • The voter is presented with the names of the nominated candidates and votes by choosing one, and only one, of them.
  • The winning candidate is simply the person who wins the most votes; in theory he or she could be elected with two votes, if every other candidate only secured a single vote.

Benefits of FPTP

  • The FPTP system issimple and easy to understand. There is no need for specialised knowledge of elections and politics required considering the political literacy rate of India.
  • During parliamentary debates members of constituency assembly representing Scheduled Caste and General Hindus rejected the system of proportional representation because of its complexity and difficult to understand  for illiterate population.
  • It retains link between the constituency, Member of Parliament (MP) and voter.
  • FPTP fosters representation and Geographical Accountability.
  • It allows voters to choose between persons rather than just between parties or balances both party and candidate. So voter asses performance of individualcandidate and party.
  • Gives chance to popular candidate to get elected even without party backing.
  • It is a Cost effective method of election.
  • Ensures stable governmentin a diverse country like India.

Limitations of FPTP:

  • The object of the system is just to decide which candidate races past others, almost akin to a horse race from where the term FPTP originated.
  • Also, the degree of win is irrelevant and the candidate may win by a landslide or a lucky draw. 
  • While a candidate representing only a part of the constituency is a dangerous problem on its own, it leads to more serious issues at the state and national level.
  • It will encourage development of ethnic partiese. political parties base their plans, policies in favour of particular clan, religion, region, etc.
  • Since there is delimitation of boundaries, cases of gerrymanderingcan occur.
  • It leaves a large number of wasted voteswhich do not go towards the election of any candidate.
  • The other issue with the FPTP is that the threshold is so high that newer parties cannot enter the fray.

 

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

4. Instruction in vernacular languages can boost inclusivity in higher education but it is not free from bottlenecks which needs addressing. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

In this year’s Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted proposed reforms under The National Education Policy (NEP) and emphasized the use of regional languages for instruction at the primary and higher education levels.

Key Demand of the question:

To examine the pros and cons of having higher education in vernacular languages.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate 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 giving context of NEP and its suggestions on vernacular languages.

Body:

Giver brief historical perspective of education in vernacular languages

Bring out the importance and advantages of imparting instructions in vernacular languages. Use facts to substantiate your arguments.

Next, bring out the potential bottlenecks which will hamper the prospects of the students taking higher education in regional languages. Elaborate up on the impact it will have on their career.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

The National Education Policy 2020 announced on July 31 last year has re-triggered the debate and emphasized the use of regional languages for instruction at the primary and higher education levels. In November 2020, the Union HRD ministry announced that IITs and NITs will begin offering engineering courses in vernacular languages from the following academic year.

Body

Significance of language as medium of instruction

  • First, language acts as the entry point as well as the barrier in the process of higher education.
  • Second, the discourse of higher education significantly impacts the conduct of primary and secondary education.
  • Third, language determines who creates knowledge, for whom is it created and the problems it seeks to solve.

Role of vernacular language in boosting inclusivity in higher education

  • For example, it is well-understood that learning in one’s mother tongue helps improve cognitive abilities and leads to a faster understanding of concepts (more so in kids but to some degree in teenagers as well).
  • Conversely, learning in a language not well understood by the student may even lead to insecurity and low self-esteem.
  • This also hinders the student’s participation in the courses, inhibiting them from asking and answering questions, making new suggestions and sharing knowledge freely.
  • This is highly important as it is unanimously recommended by educationalists that learner-centred interactive learning is one of the best ways to learn. g.: Most universities in China teach higher education courses in Chinese language.
  • Another interesting finding states that vernacular language learning sometimes may be more comfortable even for instructors who are better-versed in their mother tongue than in English.
  • Anna university in Chennai has already started Chemical and Mechanical engineering in Tamil, which is a step in the right direction.

Challenges in using vernacular language for higher education

  • The much-celebrated benefits of using mother-tongue to improve learning outcomes may be diluted by the fact that in the institute, ‘learning for the sake of learning’ is often overshadowed by learning for future career benefits.
  • Also, with over 80% of the peer-reviewed scientific literature being in English, any credibility that needs to be achieved requires English.
  • With most companies that come for placements, require at least a basic understanding of English communication.
  • Leading employability report concludes that no more than1% engineers can speak English with fluency that renders speech meaningful. Half the students are classified unemployable because their inability to speak English.
  • Hence it can very well be argued whether it is prudent to run courses in vernacular languages versus teaching students basic English (through programs like ELIT) which could at least help them understand their ongoing courses better, as well as build up their communication skills for the future.
  • While it is true that education in one’s own mother tongue can lead to better learning and therefore, a stronger skillset, the bigger question is about the employability of such individuals.
  • With increased globalization, one’s fluency in foreign languages is not just an additional line in a CV but a legitimate skill that employers actively look for. E.g. India’s growth had been led by service sector, especially IT and it quintessentially requires knowledge of English.
  • Almost all programming languages are in English such as java, python, C++ etc which needs understanding English.

Way forward

  • A paper by IIT Kharagpur, talks about ‘regional language hubs’ – bringing together students and teachers from similar vernacular backgrounds as per requirement and availability, to provide regional language-assisted learning to the students in addition to their regular classes in English
  • The disparity between teacher-student numbers in these hubs could be compensated using audio translation aids, such as the ones used in the Indian Parliament and the UN
  • To cover the need for vernacular language-based learning resources (books, research articles and other multimedia material), AI-based aids could be used to translate these from English; with IIT Kgp having already started working with the AICTE in this direction.
  • People who are proficient in regional languages can also proofread computer translations and train AI for better translations.
  • We also have user interface designers who design apps and web pages in the native language and such skillset must be employed to enhance use of vernacular further.

 

 


General Studies – 3


  

Topic: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints.

5. National Mission on Edible Oils and Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) may achieve the much-desired self-reliance in palm oil but it has many underlying political, socio-economic and ecological concerns. Critically Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The Union Cabinet approved National Mission on Edible Oils and Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), largely sponsored by the central government, to boost palm oil production in India and reduce its dependence on expensive imports to meet national demand.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the potential drawbacks of the National Mission on Edible Oils and Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) with respect to overzealous push on cultivation of oil palm.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Write about National Mission on Edible Oils and Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), its aims and objectives.

Body:

Mention the recent push by the government towards cultivation of palm in India. The areas chosen for its cultivation.

Next, mention benefits India will accrue from achieving self-reliance in palm oil.

Write about potential pitfalls and negative outcome of this mission with respect to Oil palm. Deforestation, damaging effects on the environment and human rights violation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

India needs 25 million tonnes of edible oils to meet its requirement at current consumption level of 19 kg per person per year. India is dependent on imported edible oils, with nearly 15 million tonnes (MT) of edible oils getting imported to meet the country’s annual requirement of about 22 mt. Of the total 15 MT of import, about 9 MT (or nearly 60 per cent) is palm oil and its derivatives.

Aimed at making India self-sufficient in edible oils, National Mission on Edible Oils and Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) involves an investment of over ₹11,000 crore towards palm oil development.

Body

NMEO – OP will help achieve the much-desired self-reliance in palm oil:

  • NMEO covering three Sub-Missions to increase production of oilseeds and edible oils from
    • Primary Sources (Annual Crops, Plantation Crops and Edible TBOs),
    • Secondary Sources (Rice bran oil and Cotton seed oil) and
    • Consumer Awareness for maintaining edible oil consumption constant at 00 kg per person per annum.
  • The proposed mission will aim to increase production from 30.88 to 47.80 million tonnes of oilseeds which will produce 7.00 to 11.00 million tonnes of edible oils from Primary Sources by 2024-25.
  • Similarly edible oils from secondary sources will be doubled from 3.50 to 7.00 million tonnes.
  • As per the roadmap, the government will work towards shooting up the cultivation of oil palm to 10 lakh hectares and 16.7 lakh hectares by 2025-26 and 2029-30 respectively.
  • It is expected to incentivise production of palm oil to reduce dependence on imports and help farmers cash in on the huge market.
  • The special emphasis of the scheme will be in India’s north-eastern states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands due to the conducive weather conditions in the regions.
  • Under the scheme, oil palm farmers will be provided financial assistance and will get remuneration under a price and viability formula.
  • Along with promoting the cultivation of oil palm, this mission will also expand the cultivation of our other traditional oilseed crops.
  • The following action points will be initiated for increasing production and productivity of oilseeds and promotion of Secondary Sources of Edible oils:
    • Increasing seed replacement rate and varietal replacement rate
    • Promotion of oilseed in rice fallow/ potato areas
    • Promotion of oilseeds through intercropping
    • Extending oilseed cultivation in non-traditional area
    • Targeting 100 low productivity districts
    • Crop diversification in different regions
    • Promotion of community-based oil extraction unit
    • Value addition and promotion of export
    • Promotion of rice bran and cotton seed oil
    • Consumer awareness for judicious consumption of oils for good health

Concerns which NMEO-OP poses:

Environmental Consequences:

  • Studies on agrarian change in Southeast Asia have shown that increasing oil palm plantations is a major reason for the region’s declining biodiversity. Indonesia has seen a loss of 1,15,495 hectares of forest cover in 2020, mainly to oil palm plantation.
  • From 2002-18, Indonesia lost 91,54,000 hectares of its primary forest cover.
  • Along with adversely impacting the country’s biodiversity, it has led to increasing water pollution.
  • The decreasing forest cover has significant implications with respect to increasing carbon emission levels and contributing to climate change.
  • The Northeast is recognised as the home of around 850 bird species.
  • The region is home to citrus fruits, it is rich in medicinal plants and harbours rare plants and herbs.
  • Above all, it has 51 types of forests. Studies conducted by the government have also highlighted the Northeast’s rich biodiversity.
  • The palm oil policy could destroy this richness of the region.
  • The policy also contradicts the government’s commitments under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: “Making agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific integrated/composite farming systems.” The palm oil mission, instead, aims at achieving complete transformation of the farming system of Northeast India.

Political Consequences:

  • Palm oil plantations have stoked conflict between government policies and customary land rights.
  • Such rights are major livelihood sources for forest-dependent communities.
  • Legislation allowing the clearing of tree cover and cutting forests for growing palm trees has led to increasing land-related tussles between government officials, locals and agro-business groups in Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • The North-eastern states of India are politically sensitive areas, and the oil palm initiative could breed tension there.

Socio-Economic Consequences:

  • Such initiatives are also against the notion of community self-reliance: The initial state support for such a crop results in a major and quick shift in the existing cropping pattern that are not always in sync with the agro-ecological conditions and food requirements of the region.
  • Studies have shown that in case of variations in global palm oil prices, households dependent on palm oil cultivation become vulnerable – they manage to sustain themselves with help of proactive state intervention.
  • A sizable number of small landholders continues to depend upon other sources of income.
  • In other words, such an agricultural shift is not self-sustaining and makes local communities vulnerable and exposes them to external factors.

Way forward:

  • Farm-level measures
    • Irrigation increases the yield. Example: groundnut oil production swings up and down on a wide basis with just 20-25 per cent of the crop under irrigation. Soybean oil, production of which nearly doubled between 2003-04 and 2013-14, has been able to contribute what it did with just less than 1% of the crop under irrigation cover (in contrast, rapeseed-mustard crops have 70-75 per cent irrigation cover).
    • Targeted focus based on the agro-climatic conditions and incentivisation of farmers to cultivate the suitable crop of region. Example: oil palm cultivation where India imports the maximum from South-east Asian countries.
    • Large scale adoption of agro-ecological methods like System of Crop Intensification, Relay Cropping is needed. This will not only increase productivity but also reduce use of water resources, and reduce cost of cultivation for farmers.
  • Institution-level measures
    • Better extension systems with downward accountability with the last mile extension gaps plugged as is happening with many agro-ecology centred programmes, productivity can be improved. The practising farmers become Community Level Resource Persons (CRPs).
    • Community level planning processes and institutional frameworks have enabled better utilisation of scarce resources like groundwater for emergency irrigation for groundnut cultivation in states like Andhra Pradesh. These need to be replicated on a large scale.
  • Policy-level measures
    • Higher import duties for imported oil, Remunerative prices, Assured procurement, Domestic pricing will enthuse farmers by increasing their net returns.
    • Policies and missions like NMOOP, ISOPOM to incentivise the very cultivation of oilseeds on a per hectare basis.
    • Provide incentives to private sector participation in processing and value addition in oilseed crops. Also, constraints for low-capacity utilization should be addressed.
  • Research and Development
    • There is a need to enlarge the scope of research, technology diffusion and institutional intervention to re-energize the oil sector.
    • This would include increase public research spending in oilseed crops for development of biotic and abiotic stress tolerant varieties.

Conclusion

India must become self-sufficient in edible oil production and this must become a part of India’s Aatmanirbharta. Certain WTO compliant incentives must be given to farmers in increasing the growth of oilseed production in the country to ensure domestic cultivation.

Value addition:

National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO – OP): 

To increase domestic availability and reduce import dependency, a National Mission on Edible Oils (NMEO) is proposed for next five years (2020-21 to 2024-25).

Aims and Objectives of the scheme:

  • Achieve self-reliance in edible oil.
  • Harness domestic edible oil prices that are dictated by expensive palm oil imports.
  • To raise the domestic production of palm oil by three times to 11 lakh MT by 2025-26.

 

Topic: indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

6. Liberalisation of Drone Rules, 2021 marks a long overdue step towards ensuring growth in innovation & engineering and encouraging start-ups in a futuristic technology. Diligent implementation of safety, security and regulatory measures will be vital for its success. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: pib.gov.inThe Hindu

Why the question:

The central government has notified the Drone Rules 2021, a much more liberalised regime for unmanned aircraft systems than what existed previously.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the advantages of Liberalised Drone rules,2021 and how effective regulation is crucial for its success.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of the new liberalised rules for drone operation.

Body:

First, write about the potential benefits that these new changes to the drone policy will bring. Commercial, Economical, Technological and Educational etc. You can use a bubble diagram  to write about the potential applications of drones in India

Next, write about need to have a robust security and regulatory policy. Mention the threats and check that are needed to put in place for holistic growth of drone sector in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude further steps that are need so that India emerges as a global drone hub by 2030.

Introduction

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy like – agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence, and law enforcement etc.

The central government has notified the Drone Rules 2021, a much more liberalised regime for unmanned aircraft systems than what existed previously. The rules aim to create a “digital sky platform” as a business-friendly single-window online system for procuring various approvals.

Body

Need for stricter rules and regulations:

  • Recently, Drones were used for the first time to drop explosive devices, triggering blasts inside the Air Force Station’s technical area in Jammu.
  • Over the past two years, drones have been deployed regularly by Pakistan-based outfits to smuggle arms, ammunition and drugs into Indian territory.
  • According to government figures, 167 drone sightings were recorded along the border with Pakistan in 2019, and in 2020, there were 77 such sightings.
  • With the rapid proliferation of drone technology and exponential growth of its global market in recent years, the possibility of a drone attack cannot be ruled out even in the safest cities in the world.
  • Drones are becoming security threats particularly in conflict zones where non-state actors are active and have easy access to the technology.

Evaluation of the rules:

  • The rules are based on “trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring”.
  • It cuts down red-tapism due to reduced human interference in approvals.
  • There will be minimal human interface on the digital sky platform and most of the permissions will be self-generated.
  • It reduces the number of approvals needed to register a drone. The number of forms required for manufacturing, importing, testing, certifying and operating drones in India from 25 to six.
  • With the fee reduced to nominal levels and no linkage of fees with the size of the drone would eventually lead to more drones getting registered.
  • The decision reflects a firm determination to foster growth of drones in India even as security forces grapple with ways and means to deal with the asymmetric threat posed by rogue drones in the hands of extremists and non-state actors.
  • The rules will go a long way in facilitating investments in drone technology in India. It facilitates a business-friendly regulatory regime for drones in India, the establishment of incubators for developing drone technologies and organizing competitive events to showcase drones and counter-drone solutions.
  • No pilot licence would be needed for micro drones for non-commercial use, nano drones and for R&D organisations and there would be no restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.
  • The Centre also plans to set up drone corridors for cargo delivery.
  • The new Drone Rules will tremendously help start-ups and youth working in this sector. It will open up new possibilities for innovation & business. It will help leverage India’s strengths in innovation, technology & engineering to make India a drone hub

Conclusion

Regulation on use of drones in India should be effectively implemented to foster technology and innovation in the development of drones and improve the ease of doing business, by side-lining unnecessary requirements and creating a single-window process. The government should ensure protection of privacy of citizens by limiting the use of drones for surveillance. It is important to use drones responsibly to minimize negative impacts on wildlife, including birds. Possibilities of drone-related accidents should be minimized by strict enforcement of regulations.

Value addition:

Drones can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.

Increasing the use of drones in warfare and other areas has brought into focus the potential the use of drones holds and the other issues related to its misuse (Rogue Drones). India has an estimated over 6 lakh rogue or unregulated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In view of its traditional strengths in innovation, information technology, frugal engineering and huge domestic demand, India has the potential to be global drone hub by 2030. 

Highlights of the Drone Rules 2021

  • Digital sky platformshall be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.
  • No flight permission required upto400 feet in green zones and upto 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter.
  • No pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drone and for R&D organisations.
  • No restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.
  • Import of drones and drone components to be regulated by DGFT.
  • No security clearance required before any registration or licence issuance.
  • No requirement of certificate of airworthiness,unique identification number, prior permission and remote pilot licence for R&D entities.
  • Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also.
  • Issuance of Certificate of Airworthinessdelegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it.
  • Manufacturer may generate their drone’s unique identification numberon the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.
  • Maximum penaltyunder Drone Rules, 2021 reduced to INR 1 lakh. This shall, however, not apply to penalties in respect of violation of other laws.
  • Drone corridorswill be developed for cargo deliveries.
  • Drone promotion councilto be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.

 

 


General Studies – 4


  

Topic: Case Study.

7. You are the Excise Commissioner of state with a high rate of narcotic abuse and you under take a potentially sweeping drug investigation with inter-State and international ramifications. You appoint a well-equipped special squad for the same.

The drug case has its provenance in intelligence generated jointly by the State Excise Enforcement Squad (SEES) and the Customs department. The Customs had intercepted at least two air cargo parcels containing a significant amount of a banned narcotic. The importers had used fake invoices and the services of a cargo agent to ship in the drug from Spain surreptitiously.

The SEES learnt a well-heeled and influential youth with association with the ruling party was the kingpin of the racket. The SEES intercepted a seven-member group, associated with the kingpin, travelling in a van acting on a tip-off. The squad seized small quantity of banned narcotics and a deer antler from the vehicle.

Based on information obtained from the gang, that the kingpin has stashed at least 2 kg of the banned drug in an apartment, you immediately dispatch a part of the special squad headed by an Additional Excise Commissioner.

However, for unknown reasons, the squad allowed the prime accused in the case to walk free and not much of the banned drug was seized from the apartment. It also did not account for the seizure of the deer antler. Moreover, the squad registered the existing case in a manner alleged to be advantageous to the accused. Some officers refused in the squad to endorse the report and registered their opposition in writing as the report was prepared nefariously.

The issue became a scandal after surveillance camera images of the accused moving the banned drugs out of the apartment during the raid went viral. The “embarrassment” prompted Excise Minister to order the internal inquiry headed by you. The opposition and media are relentless in its criticism of how this case was handled.

    1. As the excise commissioner, to what extent are you responsible for the failure of the operation?
    2. What are the reasons for the such lapses occurring on part of drug enforcement officials?
    3. What course of action will you take to remedy this botch up?

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Case Study Fridays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give a brief introduction regarding struggles of fight against drugs and drug menace itself.

Body:

Cite the facts of the case and ethical values involved.

  1. In detail, argue reasons as to why failure of the operation is your responsibility has the head of the department. Albeit, not entirely, but you were at the helm of affairs.
  2. Mention the various reasons for the lapses in drug enforcement – systemic, attitudinal and ethical factors must be mentioned.
  3. Draw out a detailed course of action to right the wrong that have been committed. Emphasis should be holding the guilty accountable and solving the menace of drugs holistically in the long run.

Conclusion:

Mention long term solutions to put an end to the drug menace.

 

Introduction

The menace of drug addiction has spread fast among the youth of India. India is sandwiched between two largest Opium producing regions of the world that is the Golden triangle on one side and the Golden crescent on other. As per AIIMS report in 2018, around 5 crore Indians reported to have used cannabis and opioids.

The youth in particular are at high risk due to drug abuse being rampant in that demography. Ineffective policing, criminal activities, illicit drug trafficking are some reasons why drug abuse is still continuing in India

Body

Stakeholders of the case

  • Myself as Excise Commissioner and the squad members
  • Excise minister of the state
  • Youth of the state failing prey to drugs
  • General public and Opposition influencing electoral behaviour
  • General welfare of people at large

Ethical issues involved

  • Drug abuse leading to violence, domestic abuse.
  • Poor youth becoming drug addicts and decreasing their quality of life further.
  • Human capital erosion.
  • Depression, lethargy, hopelessness due to drug addiction.
  • Corruption in the government body that tackles drug abuse.
  • Prevailing justice will boost morale of officers to work better.
  • Reformation of society if drug smuggling can be stopped

As the excise commissioner, to what extent are you responsible for the failure of the operation?

Being the excise commissioner, the execution of squad’s plan in capturing the youth with possession of illicit drug was my duty.

  • As the squad let the youth walk free, the action of the team in letting this happen and its responsibility lies on me as an Excise commissioner.
  • It also implies that the team members tipped off the accused and let him evade arrest. Essentially, I was oblivious to the fact that few officers gave inside information to the accused.
  • Despite the botched-up operation, it must have been ensured that the accused was caught later on, however that did not take place. A new team of trusted officials with spotless record should have been formed to nab the accused faster.
  • The fact that few officers did not agree with the report shows that, this was a job of handful few. I should have done a background check of all the officers in the squad.

What are the reasons for the such lapses occurring on part of drug enforcement officials?

  • Lack of Political Non-partisanship on part of the officers in the squad. They had greater loyalty to their political masters than to their own duty.
  • Politician criminal nexus: Threat from the accused who was deemed to be associated with the ruling political party.
  • Corrupt officials to took money from the accused and let him walk free.
  • Integrity, a quality that makes an officer stands apart was missing in some members of the squad.
  • Political pressure from the ruling party to let the accused escape.

What course of action will you take to remedy this botch up?

  • Take a first-hand detail of the whole raid and sequence of events from those trusted officers who did not agree with the report.
  • Ensure the integrity and honesty of Addl. Excise Commissioner through backchannel modes and determine his role in the incident.
  • Examine the video footage and surveillance camera thoroughly to piece all the information together and reconstruct the whole scene.
  • Make all efforts to snatch the accused with help of other police and intelligence agencies
  • Suggest for body cameras and microphones for officer who conduct the raid so that all the information and actions are captured for permanent usage.
  • Henceforth, test the integrity of officers from time to time and determine which officers can be trusted. E.g., Leak a hypothetical confidential information and trace the chain of people it gets circulated or have informants within the organizations.
  • Finally, conduct a thorough internal inquiry to bring those officers to task.

Long term measures:

  • As an excise commissioner, I would take the matter with the central officials with the permission of state CM, as there is drug inflow from international borders as it poses threat to national security.
  • At the office level, I would strengthen the vigilance cell as many of the custom officials are glove in hand with the drug mafia.
  • I would further try and seek to strengthen the intelligence networks so that the drug trafficking can be curbed.

Conclusion

Drug addiction and trafficking can harm the national security and integrity of a nation and degrades the human resource of a country. It is for this reason that officers involved in stopping illicit narcotics use must be of impeccable integrity. The government with trusted officers needs to implement the existing laws strictly to prevent drug trafficking and its resultant drug abuse.

Value addition:

Government of India flagged off the ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or a ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign’  on 15th August 2020 across 272 districts of the country found to be most vulnerable based on the data available from various sources. The focal points of the Campaign are preventive, mass education and sensitization, capacity building of service providers, positive partnership with educational institutions, and augmentation of treatment, rehabilitation and counselling facilities.

 Case study of Punjab in anti-drug trafficking:

  • The Punjab Police has launched an educational campaign, especially in schools and colleges, against drug abuse and set up ‘Anti-drug Societies’ in the institutions.
  • The enforcement, de-addiction, prevention (EDP) strategy of Punjab envisages integrated social, health and criminal justice responses to manage the demand and supply of drugs.
  • Punjab Government has set up 194 government Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Centres between October 26, 2017 and December 31, 2019 where alternate medicines in the form of buprenorphine and naloxone are given to addicts.
  • ‘Tu mera buddy’ programme is targeted at students in schools, colleges, universities and technical institutions, and aims to penetrate every classroom from class VI upwards. Groups of five or less children will be created to self-monitor and generate awareness.

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