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[Mission 2022] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 September 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. Analyse the role played by the Chinese Communist Party from its birth in 1921, to 1949 when the party emerged victorious in the Chinese Revolution. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Mastering World History by Norman Lowe

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

Explain certain important events/moments of the CCP in a chronological manner during the Chinese revolution.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by writing about the background in which the CCP emerged – the Warlord Era.

Body:

First write about the role of CCP prior to its breach with the KMT (1927-28), then, its role after rejigging its priorities under Mao’s influence. Third, write why the CCP gained influence during the civil war period, and finally the reasons for CCP victory.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning that the victory came at a cost – it was isolated by the west for several decades.

Introduction

The Civil War in China from 1927 to 1949 was a result of the fall of the monarchical system in 1912. Without a structured form of government, the country was in chaos. Warlords, military men who controlled specific regions of China, were vying for power and had taken over the country.

Inspired by the Russian Revolution, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) was founded in 1921 on the principles of Marxism-Leninism. Tensions between the Communist party and the nationalist Kuomintang(KMT), its primary rival, erupted into a civil war won by the Communists in 1949.

Body

The role of CCP prior to 1927

  • The CCP was founded as both a political party and a revolutionary movement in 1921 by revolutionaries such as Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu.
  • Those two men and others had come out of the May Fourth Movement (1919) and had turned to Marxism after the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Revolution of 1917.
  • In the turmoil of 1920s China, CCP members such as Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and Li Lisan began organizing labour unions in the cities.
  • The CCP joined with the Nationalist Party in 1924, and the alliance proved enormously successful at first. This alliance took the expedition of 1926–27 to rid the nation of the warlords that prevented the formation of a strong central government.
  • This collaboration lasted until the “White Terror” of 1927, when the Nationalists turned on the Communists, killing them or purging them from the party.
  • After the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) turned violently against the communists and ousted them from Shanghai, the CCP was driven underground.

CCP under Mao’s leadership

  • Mao was driven to the countryside, where they were so successful in winning peasant support that in 1931 the Chinese Soviet Republic, with a population of some 10 million, was set up in southern China.
  • That entity was soon destroyed by the military campaigns of the Nationalists, however, and Mao and the remnants of his forces escaped in the Long March (1934–35) to Yan’an in northern China.
  • It was during the march that Mao achieved the leadership position in the CCP that he held until his death in 1976.
  • The Second Sino-Japanese War caused a pause in the conflict between the CPC and the KMT.
    • After the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931, the Government of the Republic of China (ROC) faced the triple threat of Japanese invasion, Communist uprising, and warlord insurrections.
    • Frustrated by the focus of the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek on internal threats instead of the Japanese assault, a group of generals abducted Chiang in 1937 and forced him to reconsider cooperation with the Communist army.
  • The Second United Front was established between the CPC and the KMT to tackle the invasion.
    • Despite their formal alliance, the CPC used the opportunity to expand and carve out independent bases of operations to prepare for the coming war with the KMT.
  • By the end of the war (1945), the party controlled base areas of some 100 million people and had an experienced army and a workable political program of alliance between peasants, workers, the middle class, and small capitalists.
  • Mao Zedong became the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party in 1945. From 1945 until 1949, the war had been reduced to two parties; the CPC and the KMT.

The period of 1945-1949: Civil War

  • In 1945, the leaders of the Nationalist and Communist parties, Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, met for a series of talks on the formation of a post-war government.
    • Both agreed on the importance of democracy, a unified military, and equality for all Chinese political parties.
  • The truce was tenuous, however, and, in spite of repeated efforts by U.S. General George Marshall to broker an agreement, by 1946 the two sides were fighting an all-out civil war.
  • Years of mistrust between the two sides thwarted efforts to form a coalition government.
  • As the civil war gained strength from 1947 to 1949, eventual Communist victory seemed more and more likely.
  • Although the Communists did not hold any major cities after World War II, they had strong grassroots support, superior military organization and morale, and large stocks of weapons seized from Japanese supplies in Manchuria.
  • Years of corruption and mismanagement had eroded popular support for the Nationalist Government.
  • Early in 1947, the nationalist Government was already looking to the island province of Taiwan, off the coast of Fujian Province, as a potential point of retreat.
  • In October of 1949, after a string of military victories, Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the PRC; Chiang and his forces fled to Taiwan to regroup and plan for their efforts to retake the mainland.

Conclusion

The CCP was isolated for many years from the west due to ideological differences. Until the 1970s, the United States continued to recognize the Republic of China, located on Taiwan, as China’s true government and supported that government’s holding the Chinese seat in the United Nations.

 

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.

2. After the Chinese Revolution of 1949, Mao Zedong tried to keep China developing along Marxist-Leninist lines in any way possible. Elucidate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Mastering World History by Norman Lowe

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

The problems China faced following the Communist victory over KMT in 1949, and the measures introduced by Mao to address them.

Directive:

Elucidate – 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:

Begin by writing that an important reason why the CCP had emerged victorious was that it had a large following among the masses. This itself was a result of Mao having been profoundly influenced by the thoughts of Marx and Lenin.

Body:

Write what the problems facing China and its people were, then how Mao attempted to resolve them. In the process, try relating the measures he introduced to the thoughts of Marx and Lenin. Mention the positive as well as negative impact of the same.

Conclusion:

End your answer by highlighting some of the changes introduced by Deng Xiaoping upon his ascendancy.

Introduction

The model adopted by China was similar to that of Russia till 1958.

Body

  • Great Leap Forward (1958): Maoism manifested in the form of the Great Leap Forward initiated by Mao after the criticism he faced during the 100 Flowers Campaign.
  • During the100 Flowers Campaign initiated to allow people to elicit their views, many people began to criticize the party and demanded transition to a democracy.
    • Mao realized that he needed to take steps to protect the communist revolution and increase economic prosperity of the common man to rouse their belief in communism.
  • The majority of the population in China were peasants. Thus the Great Leap Forward aimed at focusing more on agricultural growth without abandoning Industrial growth and at saving the communist revolution.
  • With the Great Leap Forward, Chinese Communism drifted away from the Russian model:
    • GLF implied that China would focus on having a largely agricultural economy with gradual industrialization.
    • It desired a labour-intensive economy and reduced use of machinery in the factories so that more employment could be provided to the masses.
    • The model of industrialization to be followed was of small-scale industries scattered in the countryside rather than focusing on heavy industries located at a few nodal points.
  • Different from Russian Communism: Mao was against the policy of peaceful co-existence with the West, spelled out by Khrushchev in his
    • 1956 speech. He was also against the use of capitalist measures by USSR and argued that USSR was
    • becoming soft towards capitalism. Mao was against following a capitalist road being taken by Russia.
  • Cultural Revolution (1966-9): This is also known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
    • It was a massive propaganda campaign launched by Mao to renew revolutionary fervour in his quest for saving the communist revolution, for mobilizing public support in favour of the Great Leap Forward and for keeping the GLF on pure Marxist-Leninist lines.

Conclusion

Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping was instrumental in China’s economic reconstruction following the crisis caused by the Cultural Revolution. His economic policies stood at odds to the political ideologies of Mao.

Under Deng, China developed into a socialist market economy, via a series of reforms such as opening China to foreign investment, decentralisation of administration and introduction of limited private competition. Deng’s iron-fisted handling of the Tiananmen protests and other pro-democracy protests led to the continuance of communism in China at a time when the global communist order was in crisis in the late 80s.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government

3. Judiciary, as the guardian of Rule of Law, is entrusted with the extraordinary power to punish misconduct aimed at undermining its authority or bringing the institution into disrepute, whether outside or inside the courts. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Observing that the court’s power of contempt can’t be taken away even by a legislative enactment, the Supreme Court on September 29 held the chairperson of an NGO guilty of contempt for not depositing ₹25 lakh for “scandalising and browbeating” the court.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need for Court’s power of contempt to punish people who scandalise it.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining the Court’s power of contempt and types of contempt.

Body:

First, Discuss the origin of the concept, its constitutionality/ statutory basis, its different kinds.

Next, Explain the concept- Contempt of court, is the offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behaviour that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court. Contempt of court, as a concept, seeks to protect judicial institutions from motivated attacks and unwarranted criticism, and as a legal mechanism to punish those who lower its authority. Cite recent famous examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by asserting the rationale behind the provision.

Introduction

Contempt of court, often referred to simply as “contempt”, is the offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers in the form of behaviour that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court. A similar attitude towards a legislative body is termed contempt of Parliament.

Body

Contempt of court can be of two kinds:

  • Civil, that is the wilful disobedience of a court order or judgment or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court.
  • Criminal, that is written or spoken words or any act that scandalises the court or lowers its authority or prejudices or interferes with the due course of a judicial proceeding or interferes/obstructs the administration of justice.

Constitutional and statutory basis of contempt of court

  • Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and High Court respectively to punish people for their respective contempt.
    • Art 129: The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself
  • Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 defines the power of the High Court to punish contempt of its subordinate courts.
  • The Constitution also includes contempt of court as a reasonable restriction to the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19, along with elements like public order and defamation.

Judiciary and contempt of the court

  • Contempt of court, as a concept, seeks to protect judicial institutions from motivated attacks and unwarranted criticism, and as a legal mechanism to punish those who lower its authority.
    • E.g. In the Prashant Bhushan in August 2020, Supreme Court found him guilty of contempt for publishing tweets against judiciary.
    •  In the tweets, the lawyer had commented on Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and about the general functioning of the court under the last four chief justices.
    • The court said it found the tweets prima facie contempt.
  • Rationale behind the provision: It is to ensure that the court’s orders are implemented.
    • To sustain the independent nature of the judiciary itself.
  • Uphold rule of law: While the judiciary issues orders, they are implemented by the government or private parties.
    • If the courts are unable to enforce their orders, then the rule of law itself will come to grinding halt.
  • The power to punish for contempt is a constitutional power vested with this court which cannot be taken away even by a legislative enactment.
  • The power can also be used when people file frivolous petitions with vested interests, wasting the precious time of the judiciary.
    • E.g.: The apex court was hearing an application filed by Mr. Daiya seeking recall of the apex court’s 2017 judgement by which it had imposed costs of ₹25 lakh on it for filing 64 PILs over the years without any success and “repeatedly misusing” the jurisdiction of the top court.
    • By not paying the amount, the petitioner was found guilty of the contempt of the court.

Conclusion

The reason why the concept of contempt exists is to insulate the institution from unfair criticism and prevent a fall in the judiciary’s reputation in the public eye. Fair and accurate reporting of judicial proceedings will not amount to contempt of court. Nor is any fair criticism on the merits of a judicial order after a case is heard and disposed of. Hence, the power of contempt is a necessity for judiciary to function and uphold the rule of law.

Value addition

Criticism of contempt of court

  • Extremely wide jurisdiction with broad definition.
  • Terms like scandalizing the court can be interpreted very loosely to prevent valid criticism of conduct of judges and judiciary
  • Against civil liberties of freedom of speech and expression which is a fundamental right.
  • While Article 19 provides contempt as a restriction on freedom of speech, a democracy does not prevent valid criticism.
  • Reasonableness must be maintained even in restrictions. Over sensitiveness of courts to criticism will lead to loss of this right.
  • While truth and good faith are added as valid defences, in practice this is not being upheld.
  • In times of social media, where unregulated commentary is seen, courts pursuing all comments will waste precious time.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. In the current unemployment scenario, a long-term strategy to impart vocational skills will facilitate increase in income of labour as well as generating formal employment. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference:  Live Mint

Why the question:

The recent release of the government’s periodic labour survey shows that the proportion of salaried jobs in urban India fell from 53% between April and June of last year, when a national lockdown was in place, to 48.7% in October-December 2020.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of vocational training in formalise labour and improve incomes.

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: 

Write a few introductory lines about the status of unemployment in India citing reports like periodic labour survey/ CMIE.

Body:

First, mention the causes of current status of employment in India.

Next, write the importance of vocational training – better expectation setting and career planning. access to new age skills, upskill and re-skill themselves to keep up with the shift in demand that has been accelerated this year, due to the pandemic.

Next, write about the steps/schemes  that have been launched and further steps that are needed to be taken in this regard.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

India’s unemployment rate for all ages increased to 10.3 per cent in October-December 2020, as compared to 7.9 per cent in the corresponding months a year ago, according to a periodic labour force survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO). According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the number of the employed fell from 399.38 million in July to 397.78 million in August, with nearly 1.3 million job losses in rural India alone.

 As the unemployment scenario is increasing, the focus is on quality vocational training to increase employment. Vocational education also referred to as career education or technical education prepares people to work in various fields of trade, craft, and technician

Body

India has been witnessing a tough jobs environment for the last few years. The situation worsened after the covid outbreak. Though economic activity is gradually returning to normal, the job market is struggling. Across India, at least eight states, including Haryana and Rajasthan, are still reporting double-digit unemployment rates.

Causes of current status of employment in India

  • Covid outbreak: The rise in the unemployment rate comes in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which suspended commercial activities for a long time, leading to people losing jobs countrywide.
  • No formal training: Only 2% of the total population in between 15-29 years of age have received formal vocational training, and only 8% have received non-formal vocational training.
    • This reduces the employment prospects of people, without speciality skillset that labour market demands.
  • Employer and skill-set mismatch: The latest India skill Report indicates that only about 47% coming out of educational institutions are employable.
  • Automation: Most repetitive manual jobs are being replaced by machines. There is a constant need to upskill people.

Importance of vocational training

  • Demographic Dividend: India has 65% of its youth in the working age group.
    • Efficient utilization of these population would promote saving and investment rate.
  • Better livelihood opportunity: A useful vocational education in agriculture, coupled with access to the formal economy for finance and marketing, could raise the quality of life.
    • E.g., AGRI-UDAAN programme to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture is a step in the right direction.
  • Prepare for Fourth industrial revolution: Low-skilled and repetitive jobs are bound to be eliminated by robots and artificial intelligence under the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
    • This scenario is forcing technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions to evolve continuously and sustainably to remain relevant in the future.
  • Export resources to aging economies: India would have a talent surplus of around 245.3 million workers by 2030 at a time when the Asia-Pacific region itself would face a talent deficit of 47 million workers.
    • E.g. Japan, Korea need skilled workforce and India can be ready with this as the time is soon approaching.

Government measures to improve vocational education

  • The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 envisaged a right policy as it emphasises on integration of vocational and formal education both at school and higher education levels.
    • The NEP also proposed a pilot ‘hub-n-spoke’ model with the conceptual framework of ITI becoming a ‘Hub’ for providing VET related training and exposure to students of adjoining 5-7 schools.
  • Skill India: Skill India is an initiative of the Government of India. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 July 2015 with an aim to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022.
    • The initiatives include National Skill Development Mission, National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme and the Skill Loan scheme.
  • SAMAY: Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched the Skills Assessment Matrix for Vocational Advancement of Youth (SAMVAY) that provides seamless movement from education to skill.
  • Gram Tarang: It is targeting tribal/naxal affected areas and youth who reside here. Training centres are created to train people in Auto CAD, advanced welding on advance machinery funded by NSDC.
  • Other new programmes include Nai Manzil for education and skill development of dropouts;
  • USTTAD (Upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) to conserve traditional arts/crafts and build capacity of traditional artisans and craftsmen belonging to minority communities;
  • Nai Roshni, a leadership training programme for minority women; and MANAS for upgrading entrepreneurial skills of minority youth.

Conclusion

Adequate infrastructure should be provided in schools, and schools also should be properly equipped for teaching and learning. There should be industrial participation in vocational schools and there should be an arrangement for students to visit the industrial areas. This can bridge the gap between employer and employee skill mismatch.

 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

6. In this era of global politics when Chinese belligerence is heightening, India and the world must recognise how the BRI is aiming to reshape the global order in fundamental ways and address it. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The Blue Dot Network formed by the US, Japan and Australia was intended to counter China’s BRI. But how effective this option will prove remains unclear.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the threats poses by China’s BRI and steps taken in that regard.

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: 

Begin by describing the One Belt One Road initiative of China.

Body:

First, write about the various concerns for India in particular. Both geopolitically, on border security as well as economically.

Next, Write about the concerns for the world from BRI and global order. Mention the recent developments.

Next, write about the steps taken by India and world to counter the BRI of China.

Conclusion:

Write how with its Western partners, now New Delhi can hope to shape an alternative to Chinese predatory practices and push back against Beijing’s economic agenda.

Introduction

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping during official visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia, is among the world’s most ambitious infrastructure projects ever conceived. It is a union of development and investment initiatives that would stretch from East Asia to Europe, and in the process significantly expand China’s economic and political influence in these massive regions.

Body

India’s concerns regarding China’s BRI

India has opposed BRI citing grounds of territorial sovereignty.

  • Growing Assertion: China’s BRI stands on the pillars of both geopolitical and economic motivations. It runs parallel to China’s growing assertiveness in its bilateral relations, as seen in its increasingly hawkish actions in its immediate region and beyond.
  • Debt-trap in neighbourhood: The story of Sri Lanka’s hambantota, for example, being saddled by the burden of unsustainable debt to China is well-documented.
    • In 2018, former Malaysian President Mahathir Mohamad suspended work on certain BRI ventures in his country over concerns of mounting debts to China.
    • All these areas are India’s very own backyard and it has security implications for India.
  • CPEC: India’s objection to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is that it runs through parts of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), and this has led to the Indian government’s decision to stay away from the BRI summit in the past.
  • Connecting to Gwadar: The ultimate aim is to connect from Xinjiang to Gwadar, through CPEC. This will ensure that China overcomes the Malacca dilemma and secures an alternate path. India’s leverage in the Indian ocean will be lost.
  • Military deployment: The fact that the Chinese have begun to deploy 30,000 security personnel to protect the projects along the CPEC route makes it an active player in the politics of the Indian sub-continent. Clearly, this is a case of double standards.

Concerns of the world over BRI and recent developments

  • Chinese led globalisation:BRI runs “counter” to the agenda of liberalising trade and “pushed the balance of power in favour of subsidised Chinese companies”.
  • Debt crisis: When these emerging debt crises in BRI countries materialize, they will undermine global economic growth and macroeconomic stability at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has already led to the sharpest global economic contraction since the Great Depression.
    • Debt crises also have the potential to increase the risk of a financial crisis.
    • Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Malaysia had second thoughts on some of the infrastructure projects over fears of a “debt trap”, and allegations of corruption in BRI projects became election issues.
  • Anti-competitive: The EU and USA have contested that BRO is anti-competitive. BRI creates unfair advantages for Chinese companies, leaving U.S. and other foreign companies unable to compete in a number of BRI countries.
  • Critics of the BRI say it is designed to bolster China’s political and military influence, bringing little reward to other nations, and warn that it could be used to spread technologies capable of spying on Western interests.

Steps taken by India and other to counter BRI

  • India has tried to convince countries that the BRI is a plan to dominate Asia, warning of what some analysts have called a “String of Pearls” geoeconomics strategy whereby China creates unsustainable debt burdens for its Indian Ocean neighbours in order to seize control of regional choke points.
  • BRI will make China’s claims of South China sea more aggressive. India has convinced the QUAD to reign in efforts regarding the same. ASEAN is also pushing for code of conduct in south China sea.
  • Asia-Africa Growth corridor: The aim of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor is to develop infrastructure and digital connectivity in Africa through Indo-Japan collaboration.
    • It is touted as a counter move to China’s BRI in African region.
  • The Blue Dot Network formed by the US, Japan and Australia was intended to counter China’s BRI.
  • G-7 plan:  The infrastructure plan is being led by United States president Joe Biden.
    • The Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, will provide a transparent infrastructure partnership to help narrow the $40 trillion, the leaders at the G7 summit hoped.
    • The B3W plan discussed by the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy calls for spending hundreds of billions of dollars in collaboration with the private sector while adhering to climate standards and labour practices.

Conclusion

Any connectivity initiative must be based on universally recognized international norms. They must follow principles of openness, transparency and financial responsibility and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of nations. India must ensure cooperation of like-minded nations to counter BRI’s aggressive strategy and provide viable alternatives to nations.

 Value Addition

Overview: BRI

  • The plan, initially named ‘One Belt, One Road’, is two-pronged: the overland Silk Road Economic Belt, and the Maritime Silk Road.
  • On land, Beijing aims to connect the country’s underdeveloped hinterland to Europe through Central Asia; the maritime component will build ports and railways to connect the fast-growing Southeast Asian region to China’s southern provinces.
  • More than 60 countries—home to nothing less than two-thirds of the world’s population—have signed on to BRI projects, or else have indicated an interest.
  • Morgan Stanley has predicted that China’s overall expenses over the entire duration of the BRI could reach $1.2–1.3 trillion by 2027

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Utilization of public funds;

7. The lack of transparency remains a major impediment in utilisation of public funds, which in turns affects our developmental goals. Justify. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To explain how transparency associated with utilization of public funds of the country will improve it efficacy.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss the importance of transparency and accountability in public funds.

Body:

Explain the lacunae in the country with respect to utilization of public funds such as corruption, nepotism, incomplete works, bad quality work, siphoning funds etc.

Discuss the significance of Transparency and efficiency as tools for monitoring and supervising distribution of public fund.

Explain various mechanisms through which it can be done – Public Fund Management System, Auditing agencies – CAG, Budgeting – Outcome based budgeting, zero base budgeting, Participation and transparency – Social Auditing, Financial Prudence etc.

Conclusion:

Summarize of this will aid in the developmental process of the country as well as reduce corrupt practices.

Introduction

‘Public money ought to be touched with the most scrupulous conscientiousness of honor. It is not the produce of riches only, but of the hard earnings of labour and poverty.’ – Thomas Paine.

Efficient utilisation of public funds is necessary for judicious use of financial resources to satisfy the needs of the present society in such a way that it doesn’t compromise the capability of societies of future generations to meet their own needs.

Body:

Lack of transparency remains a major impediment in utilization of public funds due to

  • Corruption
    • The large sum of money earmarked for public activities are taken away by officials as well as politicians in form of bribes. This results in funds not able to contribute towards development.
    • As our former Prime Minister had remarked, “only 15 paisa for every rupee spent on public welfare actually reaches to the masses”, thereby highlighting the gravity of ineffective utilization of funds in our country
    • Ex: Money allocated for construction of houses for poor is consumed by corrupt officials.
  • Political rivalry
    • Sometimes political class indulges in act of vendetta where they do not cooperate in allocation or release of funds to their opposition. They hope to reap the anger against their opponents for their political gains.
    • Ex: Government in power not allocating developmental funds to opposition MLAs.
  • Diversion
    • The funds allocated to one activity is diverted to another in order to meet strict control over finances.
    • Ex: Funds allocated to road repair is diverted to giving freebies.
  • Red-tapism
    • Colonial bureaucratic attitude sometimes acts as hinderance in carrying out developmental activities. They complicate the process due to which funds are not properly utilized.

Measures to enhance of transparency and accountability:

  • It is vital to uphold the ‘social contract’. Citizens must be confident that they are protected by the law and that public institutions and servants will act in accordance with it.
  • Public institutions with operational independence from political control are more likely to be trusted to act in the public interest.
  • A well-informed population is far more likely to be confident about investing for the future. This means both providing appropriate information in ways that are accessible and easy to understand, and educating citizens as well as inviting them to participate in decision making.
  • Effective public financial management requires that decision-makers, citizens and other stakeholders, are able to ‘follow the money’ to see how taxes were raised, why decisions to spend it were made, how the money was actually spent and what was bought.
  • Where government plans and activities are measured against expected outputs and outcomes, citizens and other stakeholders will be able to judge the performance of government. This, in turn, provides the basis for feedback and continuous improvement mechanisms.
  • For the public to believe that public officials will do the right thing, a range of controls to promote integrity and ethical behaviour and to tackle fraud and corruption are required.
  • Most importantly, the public must believe that individuals will be held responsible for their actions, no matter who they are.
  • A climate for investment is created when investors believe a state is stable, well run and that political and fiscal risks will be managed effectively.

Conclusion:

It is important for citizens to trust that the government will act in their interest, if they are to invest their own private resources and so create economic activity and employment. Efficient utilisation of public funds requires a number of reforms for good governance such as decentralisation of power, plugging legislative loopholes, strengthening the public Institutions like CVC and RTI, enhancing administrative accountability and making society more democratic. These reforms could make society more sustainable in the long run.

Value addition

Four principles underpin trust in the public finances:

  • Transparency −accurate records that show where money is raised and spent.
  • Assurance − figures and processes are checked by independent experts.
  • Accountability −decision makers are clearly identified and subject to strict rules and review of performance and outcomes.
  • Objectivity − policies are based on accurate information and rigorous analysis

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