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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 February 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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Several walks of Indian life were greatly affected by the Turkish conquest. Throw light on its socio-cultural impact. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian art and culture – Nitin Singhania.

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:

To write about the socio-cultural impact of establishment of Delhi Sultanate.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a brief about establishment of Delhi Sultanate and its multitude of impact.

Body:

Write in detail about the impact of established of Delhi sultanate – Iqta System, changes in caste system, emergence of privileged class in villages, urbanization, Sufi movement, introduction of languages, new forms of art and architecture, emergence of new social evils etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarizing the overall socio-cultural impact.

Introduction

The establishment and expansion of the Delhi Sultanate led to the evolution of a powerful and efficient administrative system. At its zenith the authority of Delhi Sultan had extended as far south as Madurai. Although the Delhi Sultanate had disintegrated, their administrative system made a powerful impact on the Indian provincial kingdoms and later on the Mughal system of administration.

Body

Background

  • The Muslim invasions into India had ultimately resulted in the establishment of Delhi Sultanate which existed from A.D. 1206 to 1526.
  • Five different dynasties – the Slave, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyids and Lodis – ruled under the Delhi Sultanate.
  • The Delhi Sultanate was an Islamic state with its religion Islam.
  • The Sultans considered themselves as representatives of the Caliph.

Socio-cultural impact of Turkish conquest on India

  • Social-life: The Muslim nobles occupied high offices and very rarely the Hindu nobles were given high position in the government. The Hindus were considered zimmis or protected people for which they were forced to pay a tax called jiziya.
  • Local Administration: The provinces under the Delhi Sultanate were called They were initially under the control of the nobles. But the governors of the provinces were called the muqtis or walis. They were to maintain law and order and collect the land revenue. The provinces were divided into shiqs and the next division was pargana.
  • Economy: After consolidating their position in India, the Delhi Sultans introduced reforms in the land revenue administration. The lands were classified into three categories:
    1. i) iqta land – lands assigned to officials as iqtas instead of payment for their services.
    2. ii) khalisa land – land under the direct control of the Sultan and the revenues collected were spent for the maintenance of royal court and royal household.
  • iii) inam land – land assigned or granted to religious leaders or religious institutions.
  1. iv) The peasantry paid one third of their produce as land revenue, and sometimes even one half of the produce.
  • Art and Architecture: The Turks introduced arches, domes, lofty towers or minarets and decorations using the Arabic script. They used the skill of the Indian stone cutters. They also added colour to their buildings by using marbles, red and yellow sand stones.
    1. i) The most magnificent building of the 13th century was the Qutub Minar which was founded by Aibek and completed by Iltutmish
    2. ii) Later, Alauddin Khalji added an entrance to the Qutub Minar called Alai Darwaza. The dome of this arch was built on scientific lines.
  • Music: New musical instruments such as sarangi and rabab were introduced during this period. Amir Khusrau introduced many new ragas such as ghora and sanam. He evolved a new style of light music known as qwalis by blending the Hindu and Iranian systems. The invention of sitar was also attributed to him.
  • Urbanization: During the Sultanate period, the process of urbanization gained momentum. A number of cities and towns had grown during this period. Lahore, Multan, Broach, Anhilwara, Laknauti, Daulatabad, Delhi and Jaunpur were important among them.

Conclusion

The Delhi Sultanate was an Islamic state with its religion Islam. The Sultans considered themselves as representatives of the Caliph. Not only they extended their rule over North India, but also they penetrated into the Deccan and South India. Their rule in India resulted in far-reaching changes in society, administration and cultural life.

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2. Works of art give us an insight into how the society relates itself to its surroundings. Elaborate in light of Harappan art. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian art and culture – Nitin Singhania.

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:

To write about Harappan art and its relation with Harappan society.

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: 

Begin by giving a brief about Harappan art.  

Body:

Mention the major elements of Harappan art – Dancing girl of Harappa, Stone sculpture of Mohenjo-Daro, Terracotta figures obtained all over from Harappan civilization, Bead, Copper sculptures. Link as to how the above mentioned works of art give an insight in Harappan society.

Conclusion:

Summarize with respect to Harappan art.

Introduction

The arts of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) emerged during the second half of the third millennium BCE. The forms of art found from various sites of the civilisation include sculptures, seals, pottery, jewellery, terracotta figures, etc.

Body

Art in Harappan Civilisation

  • Stone Statues: Excellent examples of handling three-dimensional volumes, for example male torso figure in red sandstone and bust of a bearded man in soapstone.
  • Bronze Casting: Bronze statues were made using the ‘lost wax’ technique. Human as well as animal figures were common examples: Dancing Girl Statue, buffalo with its uplifted head, back and sweeping horns and the goat are of artistic merit.
  • Terracotta: Compared to the stone and bronze statues the terracotta representations of human form are crude in the Indus Valley. They are more realistic in Gujarat sites and Kalibangan.
    • Deities like bearded man, mother goddess and toy carts, animals were common.
  • Seales and tablets: Made of steatite, and occasionally of agate, chert, copper, faience and terracotta, with beautiful figures of animals, such as unicorn bull, rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, bison, goat, buffalo. Rendering of animals in various moods is remarkable, for example Pashupati Seal.
    • Commonly used for commercial purposes but usage for amulets for identity cards.
    • The standard Harappan seal was a square plaque 2×2 square inches, made from steatite. Every seal is engraved in a pictographic script.
    • Square or rectangular copper tablets, with an animal or a human figure on one side and an inscription on the other, or an inscription on both sides have also been found.
  • Pottery: It consists chiefly of very fine wheel made wares, very few being hand-made. Plain pottery is more common than painted ware.
    • Plain pottery is generally of red clay, with or without a fine red or grey slip. It includes knobbed ware, ornamented with rows of knobs.
    • The black painted ware has a fine coating of red slip on which geometric and animal designs are executed in glossy black paint.
    • Polychrome pottery is rare and mainly comprises small vases decorated with geometric patterns in red, black, and green, rarely white and yellow. Incised ware is also rare and the incised decoration was confined to the bases of the pans, always inside and to the dishes of offering stands.
    • Perforated pottery includes a large hole at the bottom and small holes all over the wall, and was probably used for straining beverages.
  • Beads and Ornaments: Produced from every conceivable material ranging from precious metals and gemstones to bone and baked clay, gold and semi-precious stones, copper bracelets and beads, gold earrings and head ornaments, faience pendants and buttons, and beads of steatite and gemstones.
    • The beads are in varying shapes—disc-shaped, cylindrical, spherical, barrel-shaped, and segmented. Some beads were made of two or more stones cemented together, some of stone with gold covers. Some were decorated by incising or painting and some had designs etched onto them.

Significance of the art and insights on Harappan Society

  • The sites of Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) like Harappa and Mohenjodaro showcase excellent town planning as well, like houses, planned streets, public baths, drainage systems, storage facilities, etc.
    • Eg: The bath in Harappa shows the cleansing ritual of people.
  • They tell how the Indus Valley people used stone in construction. The artists and craftsmen of the Indus Valley were extremely skilled in a variety of crafts—metal casting, stone carving, making and painting pottery and making terracotta images using simplified motifs of animals, plants and birds.
  • They had public and private wells at most of their sites and their houses were often equipped with bathing areas and toilets. It shows the importance of cleanliness and hygiene.
  • They were also technologically very advanced in pyrotechnics and metallurgy. Their craftsmanship is evident in their beads, jewellery, pottery, seals as well as other artifacts made of metals and their alloys.
  • Their trade networks were also quite widespread. They had standardized weights and measures.
  • They often used standardized bricks in their architecture. Recent research has suggested that Harappan people were probably the first ones to introduce silk and lost-wax casting techniques.
  • No large-scale weapons have been discovered from the Harappan sites which also suggests that they did not indulge in warfare.

Conclusion

Their artistic versatility showed in the range of materials they used and the forms they made out of it. The patterns, motives and designs found on the articles shows the creativity that existed and judging from the excavated evidences, one can only conclude the people of Indus civilization were indeed true art patrons.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

3. A Uniform Civil Code (UCC) which is sourced upon the best traditions and harmonizes them with the modern constitutional values of India is an essential step in the overall development of the country. Critically examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

On the last day of campaigning for the Assembly polls, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami promised that the BJP, if re-elected, would enact a uniform civil code (UCC) for the state.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role a finely balanced UCC could play the development of the country.

Structure of the answer:

Directive:

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 mentioning article 44.

Body:

First, explaining the aims and objectives behind UCC in India.

Next, discuss in detail role a finely balanced UCC could play the development of the country – uniformity of laws, achieving equality, simplification of law, progressive measure etc.

Next, discuss in detail the arguments against the UCC in India which might affect development adversely – Lack of consensus, against cultural diversity, right of minorities, tribal customs etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion regarding UCC.

Introduction

A Uniform Civil Code is one that would provide for one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc. It proposes to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in the country with a common set of laws governing every citizen.

Article 44 of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavor to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.

Body

Background

  • While delivering a judgment legitimising the Portuguese Civil Code of 1867, the Supreme Court reportedly described Goa as a “shining example” with a Uniform Civil Code
  • The previous Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde recently lauded Goa’s Uniform Civil Code, and encouraged “intellectuals” indulging in “academic talk” to visit the state to learn more about it.
  • The Delhi High Court, in a very revolutionary decision, backed the need for a Uniform Civil Code observing that there is a need for a Code – ‘common to all’ in the country and asked the central government to take the necessary steps in this matter.

Time is ripe for UCC in India

  • Promotion of secularism: One set of laws to govern the personal matters of all citizens irrespective of religion is the cornerstone of true secularism. A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens rather than differentiated rules based on religious practices. It would help end gender discrimination on religious grounds and strengthens the secular fabric of the nation.
  • Protection of Vulnerable & Women’s Rights: It will protect the vulnerable sections of society. Women have been denied via personal laws in the name of socio cultural-religious traditions. Therefore UCC could bring all communities together to ensure Women the Right to a dignified life and control over their life as well as body.
  • Gender justice:The rights of women are usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim. Many practices governed by religious tradition are at odds with the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution. Courts have also often said in their judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code including the judgement in the Shah Bano case.
  • Prevents religion-based discrimination: Personal laws differentiate between people on grounds of religion. A unified law having the same provisions regarding marital affairs would provide justice to those who feel discriminated against.
  • Ending unjust customs and traditions: A rational common and unified personal law will help eradicate many evil, unjust and irrational customs and traditions prevalent across the communities. For example, Law against Manual scavenging. It might have been a custom in the past but in a mature democracy like India, this custom cannot be justified.
  • Indian laws do follow a uniform code in most civil matters –Indian Contract Act, Civil Procedure Code, Sale of Goods Act, Transfer of Property Act, Partnership Act, Evidence Act etc. States, however, have made hundreds of amendments and therefore in certain matters, there is diversity even under these secular civil laws.
  • Justice Prathiba M Singh of Delhi HC stated that the modern Indian society was gradually becoming homogenous, the traditional barriers of religion, community and caste are slowly dissipating and thus UCC ought not to remain a mere hope.
  • Eases Administration: UCC would make it easy to administer the huge population base of India.

Challenges facing the passage of UCC:

  • Violation of fundamental rights:Religious bodies oppose uniform civil code on the ground that it would be interference into religious affairs which would violate fundamental rights guaranteed under article 25 of the constitution.
  • Reduces diversity:It would reduce the diversity of the nation by painting everyone in one colour. Tribals have their unique customs and traditions as per their culture. Replacing their customs and traditions with a unified law may lead to the identity crisis of the tribals. This may further lead to social tension.
  • Communal politics:It would be a tyranny to the minority and when implemented could bring a lot of unrest in the country.
  • Threat to Multiculturalism: Indian society has a unique identity in the form of its being multiculturalism, and unified law might do away with these unique characteristics of this nation.
  • Affects Majority as well: For example,  even Hindus themselves have separate Hindu laws for themselves. Thus, it is not merely a question for minorities but it also affects the majority.
  • Lacking Political Will: Bigger issues have been resolved by the BJP Government like Ayodhya Dispute, repeal of Article 370, so with adequate will from the political community, UCC could also be implemented
  • Sensitive and tough task – Such a code, in its true spirit, must be brought about by borrowing freely from different personal laws, making gradual changes in each, issuing judicial pronouncements assuring gender equality, and adopting expansive interpretations on marriage, maintenance, adoption, and succession by acknowledging the benefits that one community secures from the others. This task will be very demanding time and human resource wise. The government should be sensitive and unbiased at each step while dealing with the majority and minority communities. Otherwise, it might turn out to be more disastrous in a form of communal violence.
  • Time is not yet suitable for this reform – Considering a major opposition from Muslim community in India over this issue overlapping with controversies over beef, saffronization of school and college curriculum, love jihad, and the silence emanating from the top leadership on these controversies, there needs to be given sufficient time for instilling confidence in the community. Otherwise, these efforts towards common will be counterproductive leaving minority class particularly Muslims more insecure and vulnerable to get attracted towards fundamentalist and extremist ideologies.

Way forward

  • Major sensitization efforts are needed to reform current personal law reforms which should first be initiated by the communities themselves.
  • Current institutions need to be modernized, democratized and strengthened for this change. Sincere efforts towards women empowerment have to be taken for all women of all religions.
  • UCC can only emerge through an evolutionary process, which preserves India’s rich legal heritage, of which all the personal laws are equal constituents.
  • The social transformation from diverse civil code to uniformity shall be gradual and cannot happen in a day. Therefore, the government must adopt a piecemeal approach and no knee-jerk decisions.
  • There is  need  for deliberations and discussions among  members of various communities to reach a common ground.

Conclusion

The guiding principles of the Constitution itself visualize diversity and have tried to promote uniformity among peoples of different denominations.  A uniform law, although highly desirable but may be counterproductive to the unity and integrity of the nation. Hence, only those elements of customs and traditions should be brought into a unified law that causes injustice to individuals. In a democracy and rule of law, a gradual progressive change and order must be brought about.

 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

4. The slow march to justice for undertrials must be seen in the context of a criminal justice system in need of an immediate overhaul especially the prison reforms. Elucidate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

During the pandemic, the mass incarceration of undertrials led to a humanitarian crisis in overcrowded prisons. Prison officials struggled to prevent mass contagion among inmates and staff, even as thousands fell ill and many died.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about reforms to criminal justice system and prison reforms.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by citing a statistic regarding the undertrial prisoners in India.

Body:

First, mention the impact of larger number of undertrial prisoners and its impact – overcrowding, impact of covid-19, slow place of justice, impact on mental health etc.

Next, suggest measures reforms that are needed to the criminal justice system and measures to reduce overcrowding of prisons. Add recommendations of various committees in this regard.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The Prisons in India are more than a century-old system which are in dire need of repair. Prisons in India, and their administration, are a state subject covered by item 4 under the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. But they have been in general overlooked and ill maintained.

Body

Key findings from prison statistics of 2020

  • The prison statistics of 2020 show that more than 70 per cent of such undertrial prisoners are from marginalised classes, castes, religions and genders.
  • It reveals that as compared to 2019, “the release of convicts has declined by 41.2 per cent and the release of undertrials has declined by 19.6 per cent” in 2020.
  • As compared to 2019, the number of undertrial prisoners increased by 11.7 per cent and the number of detenues increased by 11.4 per cent in 2020.
  • As prisons instituted a lockdown on public accountability, the rates of custodial deaths have increased by 7.0 per cent in 2020. So-called unnatural deaths, which include suicides, accidents, and murders in prisons, increased by 18.1 per cent.

Need for Prison reforms

  • Prison reform is necessary to ensure that human rights of prisoners are protected and their prospects for social reintegration are increased.
  • Prisons are not isolated from the society and prison health is public health. It is important to provide adequate health facilities.
  • Overcrowding: During the pandemic, the mass incarceration of undertrials led to a humanitarian crisis in overcrowded prisons. Prison officials struggled to prevent mass contagion among inmates and staff, even as thousands fell ill and many died.
  • According to experts, the main reason for “overcrowding” in our prisons is due to the mass incarceration of pre-trial prisoners. The penal policy of the state has not focussed on de-criminalisation.
  • Instead, it has resulted in a shocking 31.8 per cent increase in the incarceration of the number of undertrial prisoners and increase in imprisonment of detenues by 40.1 per cent from 2015 to 2020 (as of December 31, 2020).
  • Overcrowding of prisons, under trials, custodial violence all are the gross violations of human rights.
  • Prisoners’ health conditions deteriorate in prisons which are overcrowded, where nutrition is poor, sanitation inadequate and access to fresh air and exercise often unavailable.
  • Prison staff is also vulnerable to most of the diseases of which prisoners are at risk.
  • According to the NCRB 1.2% of the prisoners have mental illness and they are being ill treated and discriminated and deprived of their right of good health.
  • The UN’s Bangkok Rules which state that “non-custodial means should be preferred for pregnant women during the pre-trial phase” has been grossly violated.
  • Public interest appeals to the committees to adopt a public health and gender-sensitive classification to decongest the most overcrowded prisons in the country were rejected.
  • Poverty: Many prisoners are unable to execute bail bonds or provide sureties.
  • Little public scrutiny in jails provides the possibility of violation of basic rights.
  • Most of the installed CCTV cameras are not functioning in prisons.

Way forward

  • Governments and courts adopt a public health and gender-sensitive approach to the question of mass incarceration of undertrial prisoners.
  • The participation of prison watchdogs in bringing accountability to these dark custodial spaces must be restored.
  • The decline in the rate of release of undertrials from prison and the increase in custodial deaths must be named as a humanitarian crisis.
  • The bureaucratic approach of the HPCs should be reviewed.
  • Courts must privilege prisoners’ experiences of “lockdown” prisons rather than pay lip service to dead letter reform.
  • Qualified health professionals — independent of the prison administration — are essential to provide services to inmates.
  • Prison and Jail Overcrowding Commission: Should meet regularly and dispose of any prison related issue.
  • Ensuring Accountability of Police – any crime like custodial violence must be fast tracked within specified time period through Independent investigation Agency

Conclusion

                It is time to end the law’s attachment to inflicting cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment on pre-trial prisoners. The mass incarceration of pre-trial prisoners must be abolished. Surely institutionalised indifference to the cruel and inhuman conditions of custody must be abhorrent to any society.

 

 


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; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

5. Farmers Producers Organisations (FPO’s) play a vital role to enhance productivity through efficient and cost-effective methods ensuring sustainable income-oriented farming. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: New Indian Express

Why the question:

Strict enforcement of lockdown across the globe impacted economic activities, employment and income. India was no exception, witnessing contraction in Gross Value Added (GVA) by 6.2%. However, one sector that withstood the tsunami was agriculture, registering an above-average real growth of 3.6% in 2020–21. It is but natural that special measures were to be taken to strengthen the sector.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of Farmers Producers Organisations (FPO’s) in improving farmer incomes.

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: 

Start by explaining what FPOs are.

Body:

First, mention the need for FPO’s – Factors like poor supply chain management, lack of modernization, and the declining average size of farm holdings are some of the reasons for agrarian distress. Moreover, these factors affect the small farmers to a bigger magnitude.

Next, Discuss the benefits emanating from FPO – enhance the farmers’ economic strength and market linkages for improving their income, increasing procurement efficacy, increasing awareness level of farmer etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward by mentioning FPO’s as a way to double farmers income.

Introduction

Farmers’ Producer Organisation (FPO), also known as farmers’ producer company (FPC), is an entity formed by primary producers including  farmers, milk producers, fishermen, weavers, rural artisans, and craftsmen.An FPO can be a Producer Company, a Cooperative Society or any other legal form.FPOs are basically the hybrids of cooperatives and private companies.The participation, organisation and membership pattern of these companies are more or less similar to the cooperatives.

Body

Background

  • There are a total of 14,213 producer companies on the rolls of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs as on 31.03.2021.
  • Around 11,715 producer companies got registered after 2016–17.
  • The total outlay is to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore to be spent over next three years, bringing together approximately 3 million farmers across the country.

Need for and significance of FPOs:

  • Nearly 86% of farmers are small and marginal with average land holdings in the country being less than 1.1 hectares.
  • These small, marginal and landless farmers face tremendous challenges during agriculture production phase such as for access to technology, quality seed, fertilizers and pesticides including requisite finances.
  • FPOs can engage farmers in collective farming and address productivity issues emanating from small farm sizes.
  • Further, this may also result in additional employment generation due to the increased intensity of farming.
  • FPO can help farmers compete with large corporate enterprises in bargaining, as it allows members to negotiate as a group and can help small farmers in both input and output markets.
  • FPOs help in the collectivization of such small, marginal and landless farmers in order to give them the collective strength to deal with such issues.
  • The FPO can provide low-cost and quality inputs to member farmers. For example, loans for crops, purchase of machinery, input agri-inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) and direct marketing after procurement of agricultural produce.
  • This will enable members to save in terms of time, transaction costs, distress sales, price fluctuations, transportation, quality maintenance, etc.
  • Social capital will develop in the form of FPOs, as it may lead to improved gender relations and decision-making of women farmers in FPOs.
  • This may reduce social conflicts and improved food and nutritional values in the community.

Challenges faced by FPOs:

  • Liability of newness: New ventures have high probability to fail since they have to battle multiple problems at a time.
  • Lack of distinctiveness: With no novelty to offer, it is often challenging for FPOs to compete in the market.
  • Audience diversity: FPOs need to derive support from different group of stakeholders (farmer, government, buyers, NGOs etc) which is crucial to understand their expectations.
  • Lack of clarity on the market category – FPOs may fail to meet the demand of buyers in terms of quantity requirement leading to a weak inter-organisational relationship.
  • FPOs, often in a hurry, would make unrealistic promises to members to increase their membership which could lead to mismatch in expectations.
  • Multiple thresholds for success: Measuring the success of FPOs varies according to the stakeholder
  • Farmer may be look at receiving timely credit from the FPO as the vital indicator for success while corporate buyer may look upon the quality of the product.

Way forward

  • Collectives must do the requisite homework on issues such as modalities of the conduct of boards meetings, technical expertise for better procurement, identifying potential buyers, etc.
  • Focus on multiple stakeholders including farmers , buyers and regulators can accommodate audience diversity.
  • Need informational clarity regarding the process and market conditions.
  • Collective effort of all stakeholders is crucial for the success of an FPO
  • Appropriate curriculum and career pathways should be designed that would periodically train potential FPO leaders in human resource management, demand-aggregation, logistical planning and financial management.
  • The government should identify reputed institutional partners like IIMs, IRMA, etc., to deliver content and certify successful candidates. This will make the job aspirational for rural educated youth and incentivise their participation in the national project.
  • such a mammoth exercise in social experimentation in the agrarian sector can only succeed if various departments of the Centre and states come together on a common platform.
  • Cutting through departmental silos, orientation and training of key officials manning relevant departments and timely inter-departmental coordination are key to the success of the governmental intervention.
  • A mechanism to ensure integrity of such certificates should be worked out to provide comfort to officers of the Registrar of Companies.

Conclusion

The FPOs as new-age farmer collectives have immense transformative potential for a country like India. If implemented with the right intentions and active involvement of various public and private stakeholders, this will not just boost agriculture productivity but also create an enabling ecosystem for the value chains associated with each agri-commodity. India can thus become an important player in the global food value chain.

Value addition

Government’s Support to Farmers Producers Organisation

  • The government has launched a new dedicated Central Sector Scheme titled “Formation and Promotion of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs)” with a clear strategy and committed resources to form and promote 10,000 new FPOs to ensure economies of scale for farmers over the next five years. Support for each FPO is continued for 5 years from its year of inception.
  • Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC)
  • National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). 
  • States may also if so desire, nominate their Implementing Agency in consultation with DAC&FW.

 

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks,

6. The dual objectives of security concerns and Atmanirbhartha behind banning the import of drones must be carefully implemented so as to not stifle growth of UAV ecosystem in India. Critically analyze. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint 

Why the question:

India’s ban on drone imports, coupled with an incentive scheme, aims to foster a thriving local industry. Yet, it’s unclear if this is the best way to serve our broad aim of self-reliance.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the potential ramifications behind banning om import of drones in India.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – 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: 

Start by giving context regarding the ban on import of drones in India.

Body:

First, cite statistic to convey the extent of growth of UAV ecosystem in India. Mention various applications. Mention various rules introduced by the government to ensure growth of drones.

Next, write about the pros of ban on import of drones in India – security concerns, China issue, self-reliance in drones, further development of indigenous technology.

Next, write about the negatives – dependent on imports for raw material, supply chain gap, quality etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward to making India a global competitive hub for drones.

Introduction

Last week, the government banned the import of drones and their assembly kits, unless needed for research and development, defence or security purposes. The message was loud and clear: Jobs created by our buzzy skies should be held within the country to the extent possible.

Body

Background: Statistics

  • The Civil Aviation Ministry estimates India’s drone sector to achieve a total turnover of 120-150 billion (US$ 1.63-2.04 billion) by 2026, from its current turnover of about Rs. 800 million (US$ 10.88 million).
  • In addition, the government plans to attract investments of Rs. 5,000 crore (US$ 669.07 million) in the next three years in the drone manufacturing industry and create >10,000 job opportunities.
  • The government is also encouraging start-ups and MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) to invest in drone technology by easing the eligible annual sales bracket at a minimum level—Rs. 2 crore (US$ 267.63 thousand) for drones and Rs. 50 lakh (US$ 66.91 thousand) for drone components.

Impetus to drones in India before the ban

  • Last year, the Centre eased its rules for private drone operations in the country.
  • Amid talk of revolutionary use cases, from the delivery of wifi and vaccines to the scanning and spraying of farms, India’s ministry of civil aviation snipped away red tape and opened up more airspace for us to fly our own little whirligigs and pilotless aircraft more freely.
  • ‘Air freight’ took on a new meaning; even air-taxi services were envisioned.
  • Not only had Indian skies been opened nice and wide, state incentives worth ₹120 crore over three years were held out for the local manufacture of drones and their parts.

Is ban detrimental to drone ecosystem in India?

  • Globally, the market for these aerial devices is dominated by DJI, a Chinese firm that far outsells the rest, although the likes of Intel and Boeing are also in contest.
  • As with any hot sector that’s rising rapidly, drone evolution looks set for a heady incline in technology, especially of the fixed-wing variety.
  • Fierce rivalry is expected over payload, endurance, flight range, etc, apart from cost efficiency, in a rush to counter DJI’s mass-market edge. ‘
  • With drone imports barred, however, local operators will lose the benefits of all this action overseas.
  • They must rely solely on domestic suppliers now for their needs. This would clearly be far costlier.
  • Should big capital be invested, local competition could plausibly cheapen Indian drones.
  • Foreign drone-makers could set up plants to compete with, say, Reliance’s Asteria venture. But this will not happen overnight. Nor can it assure us world-class output.
  • Drone usage weighed down by an import ban may seem like a small price to pay for a thriving industry at home.
  • Yet, unless this barrier is preset to decline over the years, a shielded industry might never be able to offer top-notch drones at low prices, as available elsewhere.
  • Not for any lack of expertise, strategic intent or money, but as a result of the missing external pressure on its performance.

Conclusion and way forward

  • Till we opened up our markets in 1991, a vain pursuit of self-sufficiency across sectors had held the economy back by raising our cost base and depriving it of a global edge.
  • World trade has taken a mercantilist turn since then, with its win-win gains no longer a theme song, while India remains broadly open.
  • Even so, just a few chosen fields kept insulated on state support could shield inefficiency, overburden other markets and thus weigh overall job generation down.
  • India’s self-reliant aims would best be realized by the rise of our own world champs.
  • On a zoom-out view of likely scenarios, though, a reduced role for global forces of demand and supply in local market outcomes looks unlikely to achieve that.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators ,Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world to the concepts of morality;

7. Do you think Plato’s four cardinal virtues are relevant in the present times? Justify with examples. (150 words)

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the relevance of Plato’s cardinal virtues in  present day.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by mentioning about the Plato’s 4 cardinal virtues – Wisdom, Courage, Justice and Moderation.

Body:

In brief, describe the virtues of Plato and what they meant according to him. Four cardinal virtues on which rest all the remaining moral virtues.

Next, one by one, bring out the relevance of these virtues in present. Cite examples as to show how these virtues are still important.

For e.g. – Courage in times pandemic etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the overall importance of the virtues.

Introduction

The four cardinal virtues of Platoare justice, wisdom (prudence), courage (fortitude), and moderation (self-control, temperance). They come not just from Plato or Greek philosophy but are found in scriptures as well. These four are called “cardinal” virtues from the Latin word for “hinge”. All other virtues hinge on these four.

Body

Justice

Justice for Plato was when every individual as fitted by nature, performed his duties in the society. He said, justice is served when rulers are wise, soldiers are courageous and producers are productive.

Contemporary relevance

Though Plato’s justice may not be suitable in the current times, Justice as fairness will always remain relevant. In a world where there is stark divide between rich and poor, the haves and have-nots; there is a need for socio economic justice. To remove the ills of gender discrimination and violence, there is a need for gender justice. Human dignity as given by Kant, cannot be realised without the idea of Justice. There cannot be rule of law without Justice. E.g.: Sister Abhaya case in Kerala, where convicts were brought to justice recently. Justice, is thus a virtue that sustains the human existence.

Wisdom

Plato believed that knowledge of philosophy was the path to attain wisdom. So, philosophy is the love of wisdom and, more importantly, the philosopher is the friend or, better, lover of wisdom. Wisdom is meant to be action-guiding. In the Republic Plato’s injunction is in effect: “Become wise yourself, or if you are incapable of it, let yourself be guided by one who is truly wise.”

Contemporary relevance: We live in an age of extreme competition where in education plays crucial role in determining our place in the society. Wisdom in the form of common sense is of utmost important to prevent being deceived. Moreover, as human beings are increasingly becoming more materialistic and consumerist, there is a need to reign the greed of desires. This is possible when the mankind is not just educated or worldly wise but also has deeper wisdom regarding their actions and its impact on the planet. As Plato says, reality is a shadow of ideas, it is more important to understand the Essence.

Courage

In Plato’s Laches, multiple definitions of Courage can be found. Courage is the knowledge of what inspires fear or confidence. It is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, without fear and with bravery.

In contemporary times, mankind is faced by multiple dangers such as life-threatening pandemic, climate change induced disasters. On a micro level, any small change in life can be fear inducing. For instance, going abroad for higher studies or quitting a high paying job to pursue civil services. Every decision of our lives requires courage and conviction to materialise it into reality.

Moderation

Moderation is primarily a personal virtue aimed at rational self‐control of extreme appetites for food, drink, and wealth. Plato associates moderation with the proper functioning of the appetitive part of the soul.  Hence, moderation in a person will be the result of the “agreement” on the part of the appetitive part to the rule of the reasoning part.

This virtue is most relevant in current economy driven by excessive wastage of natural resources. As Gandhi said, there is enough for everyone’s need and not everyone’s greed. Moderation is the key for sustainable development. It also prevents one to be on either extreme of a spectrum in life.

Conclusion

The four cardinal values form a virtue theory of ethics. The virtues are called cardinal because they are regarded as the basic virtues required for a virtuous life. Our value system and principles help us stay grounded and form an integral part of our identities. In the end, all that matters are not how much wealth or riches one had, rather the virtuous path one took in the journey of life.


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