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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 January 2022

 

 

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

1. Explain the reasons as to why Bay of Bengal is the hot-bed for frequent cyclonic storms on the east coast. What is its impact on the Sundarbans? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

A 2021 study Spatiotemporal analysis of tropical cyclone landfalls in northern Bay of Bengal, India and Bangladesh by the World Bank also underlined the increasing threat of cyclones in the Sundarbans area.

Key Demand of the question:

To write the reasons for a large number cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and its impact on Sundarbans.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving 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 giving context of cyclones in Bay of Bengal with the recent examples.

Body:

First, mention the reasons as to why Bay of Bengal is the hot-bed for frequent cyclonic storms – The Bay of Bengal is shaped like a trough, high sea surface temperature, more rainfall with sluggish winds and warm air currents, constant inflow of fresh warm water etc.

Next, write about its impact on Sundarbans ecosystem and mention steps to mitigate it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Tropical cyclones—also called typhoons or hurricanes—are intense water-rotating systems formed by strong winds (of speeds at least 62 kilometres/hour) around low-pressure areas. They have a spiral, anticlockwise movement.

West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, within which the larger share of the Sundarbans is located, is impacted by cyclones the most frequently among Indian districts, found a recent study.

Body

Reasons behind Bay of Bengal being the hot-bed for frequent cyclonic storms

  • The vast low pressure created by the warm water of the ocean.
  • The Bay of Bengal shaped like a trough that makes it more hospitable for storms to gain force.
  • The high sea surface temperature makes matters worse in the Bay triggering the intensity of the storms.
  • The Bay of Bengal also gets more rainfall with sluggish winds and warm air currents around it that keep temperatures relatively high all year.
  • The constant inflow of fresh warm water from the perineal rivers like Brahmaputra, Ganga makes it further impossible to mix with the cooler water below.
  • Lack of landmass between the Pacific Ocean and the Bay of Bengal tend cyclonic winds to move into the coastal areas causing heavy rainfall.
  • The absence of air movements from north-western India towards the Bay in the post-monsoon phase is also another reason for the chances of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal.

Impact on Sundarbans

  • In 2021, the Sundarbans saw two (Yaas and Jawad cyclones) out of the 10 cyclonic disturbances that swept the country. What stands out is that around 70 per cent of the cyclones were of severe categories in the Sundarbans area.
  • A 2021 study Spatiotemporal analysis of tropical cyclone landfalls in northern Bay of Bengal, India and Bangladesh by the World Bank also underlined the increasing threat of cyclones in the Sundarbans area.
  • About 28% of the Sunderbanswas damaged by Cyclone Amphan in 2020.
  • Cyclone winds breaks the embankments, resulting in salt water pouring onto the land, which will have the most durable impact on livelihoods.
  • Saline water kills freshwater fish in ponds in a day, most sources of drinking water disappear, and land can’t be used for cultivation for up to five years.
  • Salinity increases whenever a cyclone strikes, since seawater enters the rivers and then the riverine islands. This increases the saline content of the soil which, in turn, leads to stunted growth and weak roots for the mangroves.
  • There have been increasing incidences of tigers encroaching into the human habitation post-cyclone in search of food resulting in wildlife-human conflicts. Wildlife-human conflicts (WHC) pose a significant obstacle to the protection and conservation of wildlife in the forests across the world.

Way forward

  • Rebuilding shelter belts should be given utmost importance which are the breeding ground of species such as the Olive Ridley Turtles.
  • Trees such as cashews or exotic casuarinas will take only 6-7 years to grow but are less resilient as compared to tropical trees that take almost two decades to grow fully such as Neem and tamarind provided they are planted at a distance of 300 metres away from the high tide line.
  • Compensation records of human-wildlife conflicts could be utilised to identify an overview of the distribution of the conflicts across the regions and prioritise areas that need immediate intervention
  • The forest department has to make sure that the losses compensated match the market value, are dealt timely and the people affected by the conflict have a compassionate ear to pour out their problems.
  • To save Sundarbans from the fate of being lost, we need to check the rising level of global warming. It is estimated that by the end of 2020, 20% of Sundarbans will be lost.

Conclusion

Natural disaster comes without warning and they are exacerbated by climate change. India should prepare to mitigate and deflect the destruction caused by Cyclones. India needs to employ more technology, strict following of command structure and most importantly the participation and cooperation of local communities in the affected area

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

2. India should implement an unbiased and proactive “Neighbourhood First” strategy that facilitates the Act East policy crucial for India’s long-term security and economic interests in Myanmar. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The military takeover in Myanmar last February, just days before the newly elected democratic government was to be sworn in, stymied the country’s tenuous transition to democracy, for which a beginning had been made in 2015.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the approach India must take with respect to Myanmar.

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 about the recent coup in Myanmar.

Body:

First, in brief, trace the development of ties between India and Myanmar since independence.

Next, write about need to engage with Myanmar to implement Neighbourhood First Policy. The economic considerations – the gateway to east Asia, Kaladan project, connectivity, development of north east etc.

Next, write about the security considerations – China factor, insurgency in the north east, illicit drug trade from the golden triangle, refugee crisis etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

In a military coup in Myanmar, a state of emergency has been imposed for one year. The coup resulted in establishing military rule again in Myanmar. Myanmar conducted elections democratically in November 2020. Aung San Suu Kyi led Party won 396 out of 476 seats (combined lower and upper houses of Parliament) and won the elections. The military reserves 25% of seats as per their 2008 Constitution.

Body

Background

  • Military (also called Junta and Tatmadaw) has alleged that the general elections held in November 2020 were full of irregularities and that therefore, the results are not valid.
  • This marked the end of Myanmar’s short-lived experience with democracy which began in 2011, when military implemented parliamentary elections and other reforms

Challenges posed to India due to current situation in Myanmar

  • Geopolitical interests: Myanmar sits at the intersection of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East Policy’ policies, and therefore is an essential element in India’s practice of regional diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific, and serves as a land bridge to connect South Asia and Southeast Asia.
    • With an authoritarian government at the helm of affairs, overtures to China will increase and India’s interest may suffer.
  • Strategic location: It serves as a buffer between India and China. Myanmar has coastal access to the Bay of Bengal. It connects Bangladesh, China and the restive North eastern states of India.
    • It is also close to India’s Nicobar archipelago. Instability will have consequences on security situation in India.
  • National security: Myanmar-China border has become the epicentre of local armed separatist groups operating on Myanmar soil, and Indian groups, ranging from ULFA in Assam to the NSCN (IM) in Nagaland.
  • Economic interests: India has interests in natural resources of Myanmar and also developing certain projects like India–Myanmar–Thailand trilateral highway and Kaladan multi-modal project which is to link India’s landlocked north-eastern States to the Myanmar Port of Sittwe, located in the Bay of Bengal.
    • Instability in Myanmar will be a roadblock to these ambitions.
  • Countering China: A weakened Myanmar falling into the clutches of China as a satellite state will pressurize India to do Beijing’s bidding in regional affairs.

Steps to navigate the above challenges

  • India can aid the democratically elected government if there was a request from Myanmar. Myanmar is India’s strategic partner like Nepal, Bangladesh.
    • India can help Myanmar like that of erstwhile Bangladesh in 1971.
  • India has to strengthen the existing cooperation. India currently has an active co-operation with Myanmar in areas of security, counter-terrorism, trade and investment, energy co-operation.
    • India has to encourage more active co-operation in these fields.
  • India can formalise border trade with Myanmar. Currently, India’s Border trade with Myanmar is at a very low level. ‘
    • By formalising border trade like that of Border Haats in India-Bangladesh and providing enough support, we can improve people to people tie.
    • It will also provide peace in long run.
  • India can assist Myanmar in the implementation of the Kofi Annan Advisory Commission report on Rohingya Refugee issues.
    • The commission has recommended investing in infrastructure projects.
    • The recent Indian government move in developing the Sittwe port in Myanmar’s Rakhine state is one such move.

Conclusion

India should keep up the momentum by inviting Myanmar’s Foreign Minister & other important stakeholders such as leaders of political parties, civil society and think tanks to India for deliberations with their counterparts here. The single goal should be to put Myanmar back on the path of becoming “a stable, democratic and federal union”.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

3. The recently proposed draft rules for augmenting the development of Lakshadweep are actually undemocratic in nature. Critically examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about positives and negatives of draft regulations for Lakshadweep development.

Directive word: 

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of recently proposed draft regulations by the Lakshadweep administrator.

Body:

In the first part, mention in brief the regulations and their objectives – Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021; the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA); the Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021 and Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021.

Next, bring out the positive aspects of the above regulations for the better development and growth of the island.

Next, write about the undemocratic nature and other limitations of the above proposed regulations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward regarding the changes needed to the draft regulations.

Introduction

The Lakshadweep UT Administration has said incumbent administrator’s (Praful K Patel) proposals are aimed at ensuring safety and well-being of residents along with promoting the islands as a tourist destination on par with the Maldives. However, the residents view them as ripping the social and cultural fabric of the islands.

Body

The administrator introduced a slew of draft legislations that will have a wide-ranging impact on the islands:

  1. The Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021;
  2. The Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA);
  3. The Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021 and
  4. Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021.

 

Development plans proposed for the Lakshadweep islands

  • On an island where crime rate is already low, administrator introduced a proposal to implement the anti-social Activities Regulation bill, 2021, or the goonda act. Under this act anyone can be arrested without a trial for a period of up to one year.
  • A draft on the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 (LDAR) has been another bone of contention.
  • The draft gives the administrator powers to remove or relocate islanders from their property, for town planning or any developmental activity. This is to make Lakshadweep like Maldives. Severe ecological concerns are raised about this plan.
  • The draft bill gives the government and its bodies arbitrary and unchecked power to directly interfere with an islander’s right to possess and retain their property.
  • The new proposal also includes introduction of liquor shops on the islands, to fuel tourism, which thus far have been restricted owing the majority Muslim population.
  • A change is also being brought about to the Panchayat regulations wherein those people having more than two kids would be unable to contest for any panchayat elections.
  • Among a string of changes, a beef ban has been proposed and non-vegetarian meals have been scrapped from the midday meals.
  • The Administration has decided to allow liquor to be served at resorts on inhabited islands. Currently, prohibition is in place on all inhabited islands, with liquor served only at resorts on the uninhabited Bangaram island.
  • As for Covid norms, earlier on the islands a mandatory 14-day quarantine was put into place, however now a negative RT-PCR would now suffice to enter the islands. This has caused concern for the locals.

Critical analysis

  • Alongside the islanders and people on social media, opposition leaders in Lakshadweep and neighbouring Kerala have raised cause for concern.
  • Residents have alleged that the move will lead to a proliferation of liquor sales on the island, which had been observing near-prohibition until now.
  • The change in covid norms led to the island losing its ‘green zone’ tag and a spurt in infections in subsequent months. As of May 28, the Union Territory has reported over 7,300 cases and 28 deaths. Islanders blame the Administration for mismanagement in handling of the pandemic.
  • Lawmakers in Kerala raised issues of locals. Majority of the 70,000 people in this Island depend on fishing and government services, but the new administration demolished huts of fisherman accusing Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violation.
  • The measures of administrator were termed authoritarian and locals are severely protesting the same. This has also fuelled demand for certain degree of autonomy to the people to administer themselves with elected representatives.

Conclusion

So far, people in the Lakshadweep have been living pretty much within the bounds of the ecological integrity of the islands. The new plans are feared to take agency away from the islanders. With the ingress of outside developers, islanders may feel alienated from their resources and land, which may fuel north-east like separatist movements. Adequate representation of the people must be given and their opinions valued before making major reforms.

 

Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

4. Analyse the performance of Tribes Advisory Councils (TAC) as an institutional mechanism in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution to take up the issues of tribal population in the country. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Polity by M. Laxmikanth

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the functioning of Tribes Advisory Councils (TAC).

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 giving a brief about the aims and objectives of fifth schedule of Indian constitution.

Body:

First, write about the of Tribes Advisory Councils (TAC), its composition and functioning.

Next, write about performance of these councils to uphold their stated objectives. The positives – prohibit or restrict the transfer of land, regulate the allotment of land, regulate the carrying on of business as money-lender etc.

Next, write about the limitations in the performance of these councils – The functioning of the TAC has been unsatisfactory, the rehabilitation and settlement is inadequate, the meetings of Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) have been irregular, the Governor’s report has been insufficient and also there has been unsatisfactory implementation of development programmes.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The Fifth Schedule of the Indian constitution outlines the provisions for administration of Scheduled areas. To take care of the welfare of the scheduled tribes, a Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) is constituted in each state with a scheduled area. This Tribal Advisory Council will be made of maximum 20 members out of which the three-fourth will be Scheduled Tribes MLAs in the state. The duty of the TAC is to advise on matters pertaining to the “welfare and advancement” of the Scheduled Tribes “as may be referred to them by the Governor”.

Body

TAC

  • Article 244 confers plenary power on the Governor to bring independent legislations in respect of tribal affairs in consultation with the TAC.
  • Due to this, the role of TAC is very crucial in the governance of Scheduled Areas.
  • The number of members of these councils, mode of their appointment, appointment of the chairman, officers and servants of these councils, conduct of its meeting and general business are controlled by the Governor of the state in question.
  • Tribes Advisory  Councils  (TAC)  have  been  constituted  in  Scheduled  Area  States  of  Andhra Pradesh,  Chhattisgarh,  Gujarat,  Jharkhand,  Himachal  Pradesh,  Madhya  Pradesh,  Maharashtra,  Odisha, Rajasthan  and    Though  Tamil  Nadu,  Uttarakhand  and  West  Bengal  do  not  have  any scheduled area, they have also constituted TAC.
  • TACs are primarily representative bodies and they have got the power of law-making’ in certain specified fields such as management of a forest other than a reserved forest, inheritance of property, marriage and social customs, and the Governor mar also confer upon these Councils the power to try certain suits or offences.
  • TACs also have the power to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes.
  • TACs shall also possess judicial power, civil and criminal, subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court as the Governor may from time to time specify

Shortcomings of TAC

  • The TACs can only discuss and make recommendations on those issues which are referred to it by the Governor.
  • It functions only in an advisory capacity and has no power of implementation.
  • The Councils are not accountable to the tribal population given that they are appointed by the Governor or the State Government.
  • The negligence to constitute the TAC is equal to negating the rights of tribals and stalling the process of governance.
  • Governor usually is bound by the advice of Council of Ministers as against TAC, despite TAC being authorised to advice with respect to matters pertaining to 5th Scheduled areas.
  • The laws made by the Councils shall have, however, no effect unless assented to by the Governor.
  • Fifth Schedule accorded far greater autonomy to tribal areas, but Tribes Advisory Council remained a mere consultancy body rather than an autonomous decision-making body.
  • Unlike the Sixth Schedule wherein Autonomous District Councils have been given significant legislative, judicial and executive powers on several important matters, the Fifth Schedule places the governance of tribal areas in ‘mainland’ India largely in the hands of the Governor.
  • It is the State Governments rather than the Governor which have framed the rules regarding TAC functioning which has led to the near complete usurpation of these bodies by the political parties in power.
  • There is minimal representation of women and minorities in the council.

Way forward

  • The Tribes  Advisory  Council  is  an  integral  part  of  the  administrative  structure  of the Fifth Schedule.
  • There needs  to  be  a  radical  restructuring  of  the  composition  of  the
  • Instead of two-thirds elected members from the State Legislature, this should be restricted  to  half  the  members  of  the
  • Moreover, these  elected representatives  must  come  from  different  political  parties,  rather  than  only from  the  ruling
  • The scope and responsibilities of TAC should be widened to transform it into  the  Tribes  Advisory,  Protective  and  Developmental
  • Constitutional provisions,  laws,  policies,  and  administrative  matters pertaining to the Scheduled Tribes must come under its ambit.
  • The tribal  development  plan  of  a  State  and  its  outlay  should  be approved  by  the  TAC  before  it  is  placed  before  the  Legislative Assembly.
  • In view  of  the  serious  responsibility  placed  on  the  TAC,  it  should  be made compulsory for the Council to meet at least four times a year.
  • The Tribal  Welfare  Department  should  be  made  accountable  to  the TAC. It should present its annual plan, budget and performance report to the TAC and receive its approval for the next year.
  • The agenda  for  the  TAC  meetings  should  be  prepared  through  due consultation with the members.
  • The Governor  should  be made responsible  for  the  overall  functioning of the TAC.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. Examine as to how the pandemic has further exacerbated economic inequalities in the country and suggest measures to overcome the same. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been growing concern over the extent to which income and wealth disparities have widened in the country during this period.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the impact of pandemic on inequalities and measures to overcome it.

Directive:

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 the answer by stating a fact highlighting growing inequalities due to the pandemic.

Body:

In the first part, write the about how the pandemic has further exacerbated economic inequalities in the country – The rising unemployment rate, increasing casualisation of the workforce, rising dependence on MGNREGA and financial distress among MSMEs, when seen against the booming profits of large firms, a soaring stock market, and the vaulting fortunes of the rich. Give facts and examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the measures that are needed to combat the same and reduce the growing inequalities.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the stark divide between the rich and the poor. At this juncture, evaluating the state of inequality serves as an eye-opener on the income/wealth divides prevailing across regions. Such divides are represented in terms of the share of income/wealth among the top 10% of the population against the bottom 50% of the population. Rising inequality of wealth and income across countries has been pointed out by the latest edition of the World Inequality Report.

Body

Growing inequality due to Covid-19

  • Inequalities were increasing earlier also but the pandemic has widened them further. For example, the share of wages declined as compared to that of profits. The big companies and a large part of the corporate sector could manage the pandemic.
  • But the informal sector and workers have suffered a lot with loss of incomes and employment in the last one year. In other words, the recovery is more k-shaped with rising inequalities.
  • A new survey carried out by People’s Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE), a think tank, attempts to fill the void.
  • As reported in this paper, data gathered in the survey indicates that the annual income of the poorest 20 per cent of households in India declined by around 53 per cent in 2020-21 compared to levels observed in 2015-16.
  • In comparison, incomes of the top 20 per cent households grew by 39 per cent over the same period.
  • A consequence of this divergence is that the richest 20 per cent of households (the top quintile) accounted for 56.3 per cent of total household income in 2021, up from 50.2 per cent in 1995.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, the share of the bottom 20 per cent of households declined from 5.9 per cent to 3.3 per cent over the same period.
  • Women lost more jobs and many are out of the workforce. Inequalities have increased in health care and education.
  • In its latest report, Oxfam noted “The wealth of Indian billionaires increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown and by 90 per cent since 2009 to $422.9 billion ranking India sixth in the world after US, China, Germany, Russia and France,” in its report titled ‘The Inequality Virus’.
  • Multiple estimates by multilateral institutions show the COVID-19 pandemic will hit India the hardest by sending 40 million people into “extreme poverty”, worsen hunger and income inequality, and yet the government seems oblivious with no data, no estimation or policy response
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimates that 260 million people will be back in poverty by 2020 – almost as many as the 271 million who left between 2006 and 2016.

Measures to address the inequalities

A three-pronged approach for reducing inequalities. These are: focus on employment and wages; raising human development, and quasi universal basic income and other social safety nets.

  • First, creation of quality or productive employment is central to the inclusive growth approach. At the macro level, the investment rate which declined from 39% in 2011-12 to 31.7% in 2018-19 has to be improved. Investment in infrastructure including construction can create employment.
  • In labour market, correcting the mismatch between demand and supply of labour is needed (only3% of India’s workforce has formal skill training as compared to 96% in South Korea, 80% in Japan, and 52% in the United States).
  • Manufacturing should be the engine of growth. Here, labour-intensive exports are important and manufacturing and services are complementary.
  • Focusing on micro, small & medium enterprises and informal sectors including rights of migrants is important rather than providing 75% reservation to locals in private jobs.
  • Getting ready for automation and technology revolution such as IR 4.0. Workers need to be reskilled and up-skilled.
  • Social security and decent working conditions for all; raising real wages of rural and urban workers and guaranteeing minimum wages are key to reducing inequality.
  • Apart from spending on vaccines and other related measures, we need to move towards universal health care and spend 2%-3% of GDP on health. Education and health achievements are essential for reducing inequality of opportunities.

Way Forward

  • Enhancing tax and non-tax revenues of the government is needed to spend on the above priorities.
  • The tax/GDP ratio has to be raised, with a wider tax base. Richer sections have to pay more taxes.
  • Similarly, the inequalities between the Centre and States in finances should be reduced. State budgets must be strengthened to improve capital expenditures on physical infrastructure and spending on health, education and social safety nets.
  • Apart from economic factors, non-economic factors such as deepening democracy and decentralisation can help in reducing inequalities.
  • Unequal distribution of development is rooted in the inequalities of political, social and economic power. We have to find opportunities and spaces where the power can be challenged and redistributed.

 

 

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

6. India needs to formulate an all-encompassing national vision for defence forces to enable coherence in multi-sectoral and multi-ministerial policymaking and execution. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

India where piecemeal announcements are made in various sectors without a stated national vision. There is no overarching official document to guide policy and decision-making.

Key Demand of the question:

To write the need for national vision for defence forces.

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 that India lacks a coherent national vision pertaining to its defence forces.

Body:

First, mention the impact of the lack of a national vision – reactive approach, lack of modernisation, limited coordination, inefficient utilisation of funds etc;

Next, discuss the benefits of having a nation vision for better coherence in multi-sectoral and multi-ministerial policymaking and execution and the steps that are needed in this regard.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to address these issues.

Introduction

In India, announcements are made in various sectors without a stated national vision. There is no official document to guide policy and decision-making. The fact that every military emergency, like Kargil or Pulwama, has resulted in emergency arms purchase shows that there is a lack of national vision. There is a need of formulating a comprehensive and coherent multi-sectoral and multi-ministerial policymaking.

Body

Rationale behind creating a national vision for defence forces

  • National security concepts have, in the two decades of the 21st century, undergone fundamental changes.
  • Porous international boundaries, growing terror threats, increasing insurgency within country demand government to envisage and formulate a National Security Doctrine for India.
  • The existence of such a document will dissuade adventurism and will reassure our citizens that appropriate measures are in place to protect us.
  • Many of India’s national security inadequacies stem from the absence of a national security/defence vision.
  • It will not only become the basis for strategy-formulation, contingency-planning and evolution of SOPs, but also send a reassuring message to our public.
  • It is necessary in the face of havingnuclear-armed neighbours, Pakistan and China.
  • To define India’s role in the world and its commitment to protecting the life, liberty and interests of its people.
  • The country should have an overall national security document from which the various agencies and the arms of the armed forces draw their mandate and create their own respective and joint doctrines which would then translate into operational doctrines for tactical engagement.
  • In the absence of this, as is the case in India today, national strategy is broadly a function of ad-hocism and personal preferences.

Probable challenges in creating a national security vision

  • There is a skewed national security decision-making structure that is driven more by idealism and altruism, rather than by realpolitik imperatives.
  • National security has suffered neglect for decades due to pre-occupation of our politicians with electoral politics.
  • Defining national interests in a multi-party democracy like India that has representation across the ideological spectrum has been hard to achieve.
  • Decisions of national security are taken in individual silos rather than cross-domain exchange as subjects are inter-related.
  • There is opacity in the functioning of Intelligence agencies for instance there is no credible external audit that happens.
  • The agencies that are to provide security cover and neutralise terrorist threats do not have a cohesive command and control structure.
  • There has been a gap in political pronouncements in our military capabilities — material as well as organisational.

Way forward

  • 5 key areas in draft National Security Policy that Shyam Saran, former chairman of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), has prepared and handed over to the government in January 2015: Domestic security, External security, Military preparedness, Economic security and Ecological security.
  • Strategic communication” is of overarching importance in National Security which must be improved. A command control and communication centre must be built.
  • The NSD should guide various doctrines related to external and internal security to fill a huge void in the higher defence management of the country.
  • The policy must go much beyond issues of national security and encapsulate the domain of constitutional rights as well.
  • It must take an all-inclusive approach to national security integrating diplomatic engagement, domestic economic discipline and amity among communities at home with military power.
  • We need to tailor our strategic defence doctrine to create long-term measures towards a deterrent based on severe retribution.
  • Emerging strategic technologies like Artificial Intelligence, robotics and miniaturised wars are likely to play an increasingly important role in future warfare, this must be taken care of.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7. Identify five ethical traits on which one can plot the performance of a civil servant. Justify their inclusion in the matrix. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Easy

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write five essential ethical traits in civil servants and justify their inclusion.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by mentioning the need for Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration

Body:

Next, mention the five ethical traits which you consider essential in a civil servant and justify their inclusion with examples. Ensure you chose 5 different and fundamental traits which are needed in an ethical and efficient civil servant.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarizing.

Introduction

 Ethics in Civil Services essentially plays an important role as it is helps in constant improvement in the quality of decision making. They ensure that there is management of the government affairs, it deals with the system of governance and helps in managing the affairs effectively.

Body

The ethical traits that help in assessing the performance of a civil servant are

  1. Integrity: It is the highest level of honesty which is displayed even in the thought process of an individual.  It also helps a civil servant to be courageous as he is on the right side of the justice.
  2. Objectivity: Makes a civil servant impartial and non-partisan to take decisions based on merit without any sort of personal bias;. It ensures fairness in action and tolerance towards opposing views.
  3. Transparency and Accountability: It is the answerability and taking up responsibility by the civil servants for their acts of commission and omission. It makes administration transparent and public oriented, by building public trust and deterring the unethical conduct.
  4. Commitment and dedication towards service: It ensures that an administrator is totally in line with the needs of the people and service delivery oriented.
  5. Compassion and empathy: This is mostly towards the vulnerable and needy section of the society who need an innovative solution and effective resolution of the problem by not compromising on the high standards of objectivity.

Conclusion

These traits can help to assess the performance of a civil servant in the socio-economic justice framework prescribed by the constitution of India.


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